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Church Worldwide: After Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Calls for Prayer, Action


As the nation reels from the latest mass shooting, religious and secular leaders are offering prayers, and some are calling for stronger action on gun control in light of the deaths of dozens and wounding of hundreds in Las Vegas.

Here’s a sampling:

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“My heart and my prayers, and those of my brother bishops and all the members of the Church, go out to the victims of this tragedy and to the city of Las Vegas. At this time, we need to pray and to take care of those who are suffering. In the end, the only response is to do good—for no matter what the darkness, it will never overcome the light. May the Lord of all gentleness surround all those who are suffering from this evil, and for those who have been killed we pray, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism

“We mourn those callously slaughtered in Las Vegas and pray for the wounded. But our prayers must be followed by action, long overdue limits to the easy access to firearms. Common sense measures, like restricting the use of silencers that make a shooter harder to locate and stop, must prevail. Yet we know that instead, Congress is planning to vote on the SHARE Act, which, among other misguided provisions, allows purchasers of silencers on the Internet or at gun shows to forgo a background check. This bill must not be allowed to become law. Human lives, like those taken overnight in a horrific burst of violence, depend on it.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, in a telegram to Las Vegas Bishop Joseph A. Pepe

“Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. He commends the efforts of the police and emergency service personnel, and offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.”

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

“This is not a time for politics but for prayer. This is not a time for division but for divine solicitation. We join our hearts, we all take our knees and we pray with all of our might for peace for the families of those whose lives have ended in this tragedy, and for all of those who are still fighting for their next breath. The NHCLC has summoned our entire network of thousands of churches to commit concerted time of prayer in light of this tragedy.”

The Rev. Katharine R. Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary in New York

“While we take the time to heal and mourn, we must also act to stop the plague of gun violence. We call upon all Americans to work together across party lines, to strengthen and expand gun control laws and establish sane policies that protect our citizens from these all too frequent deadly actions. The appetite for guns in this country is directly counter to the sanctity of life that God mandates.”

Nihad Awad, national executive director, Council on American-Islamic Relations

“We offer prayers for the victims of this horrific attack and sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured. American Muslims, along with their fellow Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, should immediately donate blood in Nevada and nationwide to assist the wounded. That the terror group ISIS would—without evidence—claim ‘credit’ for this heinous crime is an example of evil exploiting evil and is further evidence of that group’s depravity.”

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

“As Israelis, we understand the pain of terror. Whether it’s the responsibility of a radical Islamist or a domestic terrorist, whether it’s done in the name of religion or not, all terrorism inflicts the same pain, suffering and unspeakable heartbreak. Today, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews grieves with our beloved friends in the United States. We pray for those most closely impacted by the horrific attack in Las Vegas, and we ask God to speak words of comfort and resolve in the mind of every child so that instead of fearing the world, they will be inspired to bring peace to the world.”

Gary P. Saltzman and Daniel S. Mariaschin, officials of B’nai B’rith International

“It is well past time for meaningful, bipartisan gun violence legislation in this country. In 2013, B’nai B’rith International leaders adopted a formal resolution that called for a ban on assault weapons, as well as a limit on ammunition magazine capacity. Though information about the shooter and his arsenal is still being uncovered, we have long held there is no acceptable, reasonable need for civilians to have access to large rounds of ammunition.”

Primates of the Anglican Communion to Nevada Episcopal Bishop Dan Edwards

We were greatly distressed to learn of the dreadful events in Las Vegas last night. The scale of the loss of life and the numbers of injured is truly shocking. We are sending our deepest condolences to you and to the people of your diocese—in particular, the people of Las Vegas. We are praying for the families and friends of those who have died and for the many people who have been wounded. We remember, too, everyone else caught up in this tragedy—including the emergency services (first responders). We pray that the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ will be with the people of Las Vegas as they endure this trauma.

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