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LEADERS ENDORSE INTERFAITH STATEMENT
Editor's Note: As of 10/19/01, signers numbered 3,764 ... Click on "statement and signatories" link above for latest list of signatories. See also the September 20 NCC News Release about distribution of the statement to members of Congress and the White House.
MORE THAN 200 HAVE NOW SIGNED INTERFAITH RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
September 14, 2001 Now numbering more than 200, a broad spectrum of the U.S. religious community, including Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians -- as well as Muslim and Jewish leaders -- have joined their signatures to the interfaith statement Deny Them Their Victory: A Religious Response to Terrorism. The breadth of participation has made the document one of the most inclusive religious statements ever released.
Signers, who gave their personal endorsement, include the heads of denominations, national and regional religious organizations and parachurch groups; local pastors and rabbis; and theologians and professors from all parts of the nation.
The statement offers words of consolation to the families of the victims, and an appeal for sober restraint to citizens reeling in the wake of Tuesdays terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC; and the related crash of a hijacked jetliner in Pennsylvania.
Let us deny them (the terrorists) their victory by refusing to submit to a world created in their image, the signers argue, adding: We must not allow this terror to drive us away from being the people God has called us to be. The message also warns that innocent Americans who share the terrorists ethnicity, national origin or religion should be protected from indiscriminate reprisal or acts of violence.
Terming the aftermath of the attacks a test of national character, the statement calls for citizens to rededicate themselves to the vision of community, tolerance, compassion, justice, and the sacredness of human life, which lies at the heart of all our religious traditions.
The document was developed in consultation with Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy, and circulated for signature by The Rev. Jim Wallis, Call to Renewal and Sojourners; Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches; The Rev.Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Dr. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action. They invited others to join them in personally endorsing the document, and more than 100 responded within the first 24 hours. By 4 p.m. Friday, September 14, more than 200 had signed.
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