By Rev. Rock Fremont & Rev. Mike Kerr-Osman, Co-Chairs of the Christian Unity & Inter-religious Relationships Commission of the Desert Southwest Conference
We unequivocally and without hesitation condemn the recent unprovoked and malicious attack on Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
That this offense should come as a community gathers for prayers makes such loutish, criminal behavior particularly outrageous. The United Methodist Church has always enjoyed excellent inter-faith relations. This attack serves to strengthen our resolve, and the resolve of our faith communities, to pray and work to ensure that these relationships are deepened further, that we may realize and live into our common humanity.
At this difficult time, we offer our wholehearted support to Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Dar Al Farooq Center in Bloomington and to our Muslim siblings in Minnesota and throughout the United States.
The CUIR Commission encourages local faith communities to contact us with any questions they may have about inter-religious involvement in the United Methodist Church. Following are some links and action items with which to reflect upon this attack and prepare for a more tolerant and hopeful tomorrow.
- News coverage: http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-mosque-explosion/story?id=49074136
- View the Minnesota Council of Churches’ statement here: http://www.mnchurches.org/newsandevents/blog.html
- Contact the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona and request that a speaker visit your community of faith. http://isb-az.org/
- Read up on the key issues surrounding interfaith relations. You can find many helpful study guides here: http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/shared-ministry/interfaith/resources.php
- The number one thing a congregation can do to promote peace and understanding between our Christian and Muslim faiths is to seek out their local mosque and create a relationship with them. The CUIR Commission is glad to assist congregations who wish to reach out. Contact Rev. Rock Fremont at email@example.com or Rev. Mike Kerr-Osman at firstname.lastname@example.org to seek assistance.
In an increasingly secular world, we look forward to reinforcing our bonds of cooperation, friendship, respect, prayer, and peace. We pray for the day when all people of all races, genders, and religions can live their lives without fear or hatred. We invite the members of the Desert Southwest Conference to pray for those affected and to embody the character of Jesus by demonstrating the love and compassion He exemplified.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9, NRSV).