Worshipers of the idols of violence and hate are attacking sanctuaries built for the worship of God. The latest attack came to a synagogue in San Diego, during the holy season of Passover; one person died and three were injured. The gunman claimed credit also for arson of a mosque in nearby Escondido, and issued an online manifesto seething with hate against much of the human race. This comes on top of a vehicular attack on pedestrians in Sunnyvale by a man who believed a South Asian family to be Muslims. And, as the horrific bombings of churches in Sri Lanka showed, Christians are as vulnerable as Muslims and Jews.

As we pointed out in relation to the events in Sri Lanka, these attacks are aimed at what we as people of faith believe to be the very core of our humanity: our relationship with God. But, even as we mourn, this fact gives us hope and courage. We believe that the God of love and mercy whom we worship is infinitely greater than the idols before which these apostles of hate bow down. And we know that by moving forward faithfully in our mission of building understanding and respect among all faiths and all people we can and will overcome the forces that seek to divide us into warring factions.

So let us all, in this painful moment, renew our commitment to building bridges among people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, and religions, and we invite you to join us in this commitment. Together we will overcome.