The North American Baptist Fellowship decries and condemns the kind of discrimination and hate that fosters the violence that occurred this last Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The death of 11 people and the injury of six others (including police officers) is yet another tragic attack that underlines the importance of confronting and persistently challenging the violence amongst us.
Let us not forget that particular groups are far more vulnerable than others in the incidence of violence directed against them; that is particularly true of indigenous people in Canada and African Americans in the States — and poor people everywhere. It is, however, particularly troubling that anti-Semitism is on the rise in every possible form around the world. The attack at Tree of Life Synagogue should focus our attention on how selective our concern and vigilance can sometimes be. We need to be consistent in our concern — not just for some and not just only rarely.
We grieve with those who grieve at Tree of Life and seek by our prayers and renewed commitment to the living and the dead that we shall continue to live the way of Christ in care and advocacy of our neighbor.