Statement on Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas killings
“My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out on the ground because of the destruction of my people, because infants and babes faint in the streets of the city." ~ Lamentations 2:11 NRSV
“Please, Lord, you know our rights, Lord. You know we are innocent people, Lord. We are innocent people.” ~ Lavish Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile
The National Council of Churches mourns the recent shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, Philando Castile in suburban Minneapolis, MN, and five police officers in Dallas, TX. These killings point to the racial tensions that plague our society and the disturbing disregard for the sacredness of human life, exacerbated by the prevalence of weapons.
We pray for a full recovery of those wounded in Dallas and for the friends and families of those killed in each of these tragic incidents. Words seem inadequate to express the depth of our sorrow and the extent of our concern for the stability and well-being of our country. Our society is in need of a radical transformation, away from suspicion and anger to trust and reconciliation. We are committed to the pursuit of both racial justice and sensible measures to prevent gun violence, and to working to bring about reconciliation among our people.
We commend the following statements from NCC member communions:
"We are killing ourselves, and until we in the white community feel that the death of a person of color is our death too, it's not going to change."
The Bible reminds us that, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is the one who is in you than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4). “Our ability to overcome the world by the God-bestowed power within us requires faith and courage.”
Other statements will be posted on the NCC website as they become available.
NBC features RCC member Simran Jeet Singh in Life Stories series
RCC member Simran Jeet Singh, professor of religion and Senior Religion Fellow at The Sikh Coalition, reflects on his upbringing and faith, and the importance of cultural and religious literacy across traditions in America in NBC's Life Stories video.
Religious Freedom Center offers classes for religious and civic leaders
Become a constitutional and human rights specialist on issues of religion and public life.
The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the American public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment. We envision a world committed to religious freedom as an inalienable right for all people.
In carrying out this vision, our mission is to educate the public about the history, meaning and significance of religious freedom and to promote dialogue and understanding among people of all religions and none.
The Religious Freedom Center offers onsite and online classes that prepare religious and civic leaders for effective and principled leadership in a religiously diverse society.
We invite you to join this initiative and encourage you to apply for one or more of our courses. We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2016 First Amendment courses.
Religion & Democracy, an interfaith special, to be broadcast June 26, 2016 on CBS
Religion & Democracy, a CBS Interfaith Special, looks at the challenges America is facing – as one of the most diverse democratic countries in the world – when it comes to religious hate and intolerance, and in particular examines the conditions that are fueling anti-Muslim sentiment. This special broadcast will air on the CBS Television Network Sunday, June 26 (check local listings ).
Among those featured on the program is Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). A recent ISPU survey revealed that last year Muslims reported more religious discrimination than Jews, Protestants and Catholics. She talks about how living in a climate of fear and intolerance affects the Muslim community and society as a whole.
Statement by the National Council of Churches and other faith groups in the wake of the worst mass shooting in US history
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA was shocked and saddened by news of the largest mass shooting in our country’s history. We deplore gun violence, hate crimes, and terrorism in all their manifestations.
All of these forms of violence insidiously came together in this incident – a lone shooter using an assault weapon and professing his affinity with ISIS targeted the LGBTQ community – which resulted in the death of 49 people and the injury of 53 more. We mourn the dead, stand with the survivors, and grieve with the victims’ families. We also pray for a speedy recovery of the wounded, for the healing of the Orlando community, and for the well being of our country after this assault on our cherished values.
It is not lost on us that the shooter was a Muslim, and some may wrongly seek to label Muslims as violent people generally. Apparently known not to be particularly religious, reports indicate that he was both mentally unstable and swayed by the kind of hate that is antithetical to genuine faith. Indeed, no person of faith can carry out such an act of violence and claim authentically to do so in the name of their faith. Our Muslim friends share this same conviction.
5 Tips for a Successful Communications Ministry
Teresa Tysinger, Director of Communications at First Presbyterian Church in Ft Worth, Texas offered the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter “5 Tips for a Successful Communications Ministry” at the recent June meeting.
Promoting Religious Literacy