Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Statement on the Shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

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Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Statement on the Shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

June 18, 2015 ~ Indianapolis, IN

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We at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation extend our deepest condolences to the families of the nine victims of the June 17th shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is particularly awful that this hateful crime was committed in a church during a prayer meeting. There should have been no safer place for friends and family to come together; sadly that was not the case.

The community of Charleston — people of many faith and ethnic backgrounds — has already begun rallying around the congregation of Emanuel AME. The same would be true in Indianapolis were we to experience a tragedy like this. For some Charleston residents, in days to come when they attend a memorial service at the historic church affectionately known as “Mother Emanuel,” it will be the first time they visit an African American church.

The Center for Interfaith Cooperation believes the best way we can honor the victims in Charleston is for Hoosiers of all faiths to stand with one another now, before a similar trauma would necessarily draw us together.  Central Indiana has a dense network of people of faith partnering to fight racism, bigotry and hatred.  This weekend, for instance, the Indianapolis Congregational Action Network (IndyCAN) is launching “Season of Encounter,” an invitation to congregations to join in holding “Sacred Conversations on Race & Faith.” Learn how your congregation can participate at www.indycan.org. Indiana Black Expo will offer many chances for people of all faiths and colors to talk and pray together in July (www.indianablackexpo.com). The Ten Point Coalition invites congregations to collaborate to reduce violence in the neighborhoods of Indianapolis (www.indytenpoint.com).

These are only a few of the many important initiatives across the city. We ask that you please join us in remembering the victims of the tragedy in Charleston by reaching out across faith and ethnic lines to help fight hatred and violence in our own community.

* Signed by Charlie Wiles, CIC Executive Director, Lindsey Mintz, CIC Board Chair, and supported by the CIC Board of Directors, who are members of the following faith communities in Central Indiana: Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Episcopal, Evangelical, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Methodist, Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist

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