Peace & Unity for Our Nation: Multi-Faith Leaders’ Statement & Prayer

Weeks of lawsuits and name calling took a turn here in our region over the weekend.  The violence and the destruction of “Black Lives Matter” signs that once stood outside the churches of our interfaith partners will not be tolerated.

Together, with our interfaith partners, we condemn these acts and issue the following statement to unite our community and work toward a common good, justice, and equity for all.

Statement by:
Imam Mohamed Magid, All Dulles Area Muslim Society
Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation
Pastor Jim Eaton, Mosaic Church, Evangelical Christian Community

The challenges we confront today require us as people of faith to envision who we wish to be as a nation. Each of our faith traditions calls us to respond out of our deeply-held values to the world around us, including the civic arena. Of the many values that our traditions share, we the faith leaders of the Washington, DC area wish to speak a word of hope in this crucial national moment of our common values of peace and unity.

Throughout our nation, many are experiencing heightened anxiety around the 2020 election. In this season more than half of Americans say they are stressed over the future of our country. We experience all of this under the weight of a pandemic, in a year that has been filled with many crises, especially the ongoing scourge of racism and white supremacy.

Irrespective of how each of us voted in this election, we call upon our community to cultivate peace, demonstrated by kindness, civility and hope. If there ever were a moment for us to summon the courage to work for peace, regardless of where we stand in this unprecedented, divisive and sometimes toxic election season, that moment is now.

We also call for unity. Unity does not mean that we will all agree this election season; we may not agree on candidates or parties or even issues we prioritize. We may not agree with our neighbor’s politics or the social media posts we see. But despite our disagreements, we must remember the unity we are all called to as neighbors and companions on this journey, as one human, national and Washington, DC area family. Only in remembering this ultimate unity we share, can we seek the peace so needed in the coming weeks, weeks that will no doubt continue to be contentious and challenging.

We ask you, members of our faith communities and our neighbors, to please demonstrate the values of your faith tradition and these ideals of peace and unity in the way you conduct yourself, including your political conversations. May all people of faith be an influence of what Dr. Martin Luther King called “the beloved community,” a community that in contrast to division and polarization finds itself, by the power and compassion of God, to be a place where we all serve as role models of civility and respect and solidarity as we talk to neighbors, strangers and fellow faith community members alike.

We believe that if people of faith will embody these attitudes and actions, we can not only avoid violence and division, but we can take concrete steps towards restored unity and civility in our nation. All of our faith traditions teach us to love thy neighbor regardless of who they are and how they differ from us.

May we remember that, as Americans, we are stronger together than we are divided.  And may this spark a renewed commitment to peace and unity in our communities, and love for our fellow citizen in our hearts.