Within hours of the shooting in New Zealand, diverse faith groups in Louisiana came together to support Muslim neighbors.
At Masjid Al-Rahman mosque in Baton Rouge, Rev. Fred Smith of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (in photo at right), and Together Baton Rouge, joined Imam Waiel Shihadeh to speak to hundreds of congregants at Friday services. “Even though our worship comes from a different perspective, it’s important for us to recognize the value of inclusion — the value of universal love — which is what is a part of our Christian faith,” Smith said. Catholic Bishop Michael Duca sent a message of solidarity for both the victims of the attack and the larger Muslim community.
In New Orleans, leaders from Together New Orleans joined Jewish clergy at Muslim worshippers at Masjidur Rahim for an interfaith service of solidarity. Bridget Tierney, a member of Christ Church Cathedral on St. Charles Avenue, said that one of the worst things that can happen after such an attack is for worshippers to feel unsafe, alone and isolated.
No one, she said, should feel that way. “We have to stand together.”
[Photos Credits: At right by Jacqueline DeRobertis, The Advocate; photos at left by Brett Duke, Times Picayune]
'We All Stand Together: New Orleans Mosque Holds Service for All Faiths After New Zealand Attack, NOLA.com | Times Picayune
Baton Rouge Faith Groups Show Support for Muslim Community in Wake of New Zealand Mosques Shootings, The Advocate [pdf]
Statement on the Terror Attack on the al-Noor & Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Together Baton Rouge