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by Francisco Garcia, Director of Peace & Justice; All Saints Church, Pasadena 

Our hearts are breaking as we deeply lament the killing of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha — three young students and bright lives of promise ended abruptly and brutally this week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We stand with the Arab and Muslim community in Chapel Hill and across the country as they mourn and pray for peace, healing, and compassion. And we join those calling for justice, accountability and the investigation of this hateful crime as a possible hate crime.

At All Saints Church we believe that our faith calls us to make love tangible in our world, and to turn the entire human race — across faiths and geographies–  into the beloved human family. When tragedies like this occur, especially when it appears that particular communities are targeted on account of religion, race/culture, or any kind of “difference,” it creates a tear in the fabric of our common humanity. We call on all people of faith and good will to stand with the Muslim community in loving prayer and solidarity. As Dr. King has stated, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

There are two actions that have come our way which we commend for those desiring to send messages of love, solidarity and support to the families of the students — one through The PICO Network and the other through Groundswell

Holy God, Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony. Amen.