TEHRAN (IQNA) – There was an arson attack on a Catholic church in Tacoma, US state of Washington, on October 24, 2021. This followed the recent arson attack at a mosque in Tacoma; break-in and vandalism at a Mountlake Terrace mosque, and at a Federal Way Sikh gurudwara.
There were also an aggravated assault on a Buddhist nun outside a Buddhist temple in Tacoma; and vandalism at Catholic churches in Seattle. In light of this rash of attacks on places that should be sanctuaries of peace, faith leaders will gather in Tacoma on October 31, 2021, at 2pm, to condemn the violence and emphasize a message of resilience, unity and solidarity. Speakers will include leaders from some of the targeted houses of worship, along with other faith, community and elected leaders including Congressman Derek Kilmer. On Sunday, October 24, an early morning suspicious fire later identified as arson caused significant damage to St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish in Tacoma.
There were other such attacks on places of worship.
To address these attacks (which add to other prior attacks on mosques, synagogues, temples, churches, and more), faith leaders across the region will join in a showing of solidarity to condemn any targeting of houses of worship and to make clear that an attack on one is an attack on all.
This gathering is sponsored by the Muslim Association of Puget Sound-American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN), Islamic Center of Tacoma, Associated Ministries, and the Faith Action Network.
“Any attack on a place of worship is gut-wrenching for people of faith,” said Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director of MAPS-AMEN.
“The number of recent attacks is both alarming and deeply painful. But our love, faith, and resilience will only strengthen, and we will use each such incident as an opportunity to build even stronger bonds with each other.” “Let the fire of hate enlighten the path of love and unity,” added Dr. AbdulHakim Mohamed, Imam and Executive Director of the Islamic Center of Tacoma.
Michael Yoder, Executive Director of Associated Ministries, stated: “The situation we face is concerning, but I believe this is yet another opportunity for us to act in unity as local faith leaders and to be the agents of restoration and peace that we are called to be. I encourage all faith leaders to join us.”