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October 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Draws Interfaith Condemnation From Around World

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People mourn the loss of life as they hold a vigil for the victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Oct. 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters / John Altdorfer.

The Shabbat morning massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh — in which 11 Jews were murdered by a white supremacist gunman — has drawn condemnation from an interfaith range of religious figures and groups across the world.

At St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Sunday, Pope Francis said, “All of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence,” and he asked God “to help us to extinguish the flames of hatred that develop in our societies.”

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) said in a statement, “We, the Hindu American community know all too well what it is to be a victim of hate crimes and terrorism. We relate with the Jewish community as it experiences such extraordinary pain and anguish. Accepting and respecting differences, a hallmark of democracy and a proud American tradition, must guide our actions.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) tweeted, “Our hearts are broken at the news of a shooting and casualties at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. We pray for strength and healing for the congregation and Jewish communities nationwide. We offer our sympathies for and solidarity with the American Jewish community.”

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Wasi Mohammed — executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh — called the attack “really heartbreaking.”

Pastor John Hagee — founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel – said in a video statement, “Our Jewish brothers and sisters are hugging their children close in anguish as they try to grapple with this evil. Every Jewish mother and father in America faces the daunting task of telling their sons and daughters there are some in this country who want to kill them because they are Jewish. It is an unthinkable pain and an intolerable reality.”

“Now is the time to pray for our friends, to reach out personally with words of comfort and love, and to visibly stand with them against the antisemitic poison that fueled this attack,” he added.

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