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'RESPONSE TO TERRORISM'
Editor's Note: As of 10/19/01, signers numbered 3,764 ... Click on "statement and signatories" link above for latest list of signatories.
September 20, 2001 The Interfaith Statement Deny Them Their Victory: A Religious Response to Terrorism was delivered today to every Congressional office and to the White House. Now numbering nearly 1,500, a broad spectrum of the U.S. religious community, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders, have joined their signatures to the statement.
Signers from the Christian community include Protestant, Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Historic Black Church and Historic Peace Church traditions. The breadth of participation has made the document one of the most inclusive religious statements ever released.
The statement appeals for sober restraint in responding to the attacks. It urges that those responsible for these utterly evil acts be found and brought to justice, but cautions that we must not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately retaliate in ways that bring on even more loss of innocent life. 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.
Signers, who gave their personal endorsement, include the heads of denominations and religious orders, national, regional and local religious organizations and parachurch groups, presidents of seminaries; and directors of state and local Councils of Churches. There are also hundreds of local pastors and rabbis; and theologians and professors from all parts of the nation.
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