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Faith leaders describe faith teachings against genocide

As part of a nationwide campaign to end genocide in Darfur, the Interfaith Council of the Inland Northwest is collecting postcards for the Million Voices for Darfur campaign, and the national Genocide Prevention Day on Sunday, April 30 in Washington, D.C.

Through interfaith events and congregational efforts, the council seeks to collect 1,200 postcards by April 15 and send them to the Save Darfur Coalition for its the Rally to Stop Genocide.

Coinciding with the national rally, the Interfaith Council will have speakers on famine and displacement in Darfur at the Spokane CROP Walk on April 30.

At an interfaith service on March 19 at Country Homes Christian Church, Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders shared teachings of their faiths that denounce genocide.

Howard Glass
Howard Glass

Howard Glass of Temple Beth Shalom said Jews have been targets of genocide in ancient history as well as in the Holocaust.

“Our memories are fresh because we have Holocaust survivors in the community and hold a Yom Hashoah memorial,” he said.  “In the Purim holiday, we read in the book of Esther about thwarting a plot to kill Jews in Persia.”

John Temple Bristow
The Rev. John Bristow

He said that after Moses led Jews from slavery he went to Mt. Sinai and received the Torah, which teaches not to stand idly by when a neighbor’s blood is shed.

“We are to preserve and protect human life as precious,” he said.  “We are not to let disagreements fester to the point of hatred, but to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“We shouldn’t need a reason to care for our neighbors as ourselves,” Howard said. “Given that we can do things to save lives in Darfur, we should do them.”

Mamdouh Al Aarag
Mamdouh El Aarag

The Rev. John Bristow, pastor of Country Homes Christian, reminded that Jesus blessed those who make peace and called them children of God:  “We are called not just to be peace lovers but peacemakers,” he said.

Mamdouh El-Arrag said the Quran, which defines Muslim faith, practice, wisdom, law and life has detailed teachings on social justice, human relationships and economic justice. 

“We are created equal, distinct in piety, not in wealth and power,” he said.  “Islam is a religion of justice.  God commands trust.  God (Allah) judges with justice.

“Allah loves justice and does not want us to let hatred by others cause us to become unjust,” Mamdouh said.

For information, call 329-1410.