Bishop T. D. Jakes, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Join Faith Leaders In Calling for Gun Violence Prevention

Americans from a remarkably diverse array of religious backgrounds will join together on Monday, February 4 at to call on Congress to act to prevent gun violence. Religious leaders and interfaith groups are mobilizing their flocks and empowering faithful Americans across the country to continue the moral drumbeat for passing sensible gun violence prevention laws. Participants include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches representing 37 Christian denominations, the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, PICO National Network, the Islamic Society of North America, Bishop T.D. Jakes , senior pastor of The Potter's House, and many others.

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, with a history of bringing together unique coalitions of religious, moral and civic leaders in the pursuit of social justice, is again leading the religious community to mobilize for action on gun violence.

"On this issue of dire importance to the safety of all of our children and communities, the broadest array yet of faithful Americans is joining together in one chorus to call on Congress to pass sensible solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that has long plagued our country," said Rachel Laser , deputy director of the Religious Action Center.

Although all callers are compelled by the urgency of acting to prevent further senseless gun-related deaths, each reflects the diversity of viewpoints among Americans and will be highlighting the priorities of special concern to them, including universal background checks, bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, criminalization of gun trafficking, and improved access to and availability of mental health services.

"As people of faith, and as responsible citizens, we have a moral obligation to press our elected leaders to take concrete steps toward the prevention of gun violence," remarked Rev. Kathryn Lohre , Director, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Lohre is also President of the National Council of Churches. "We may not fully agree on what those steps are, but we can certainly agree that the task ahead is nothing short of transforming the culture of violence in which we live for the sake of all of God's children."

"We all have to be watchmen on the wall and answer the question of the Scriptures: 'Am I my brother's keeper?' We all are mutually responsible for ensuring the well-being of our society and the safety of our children. We call on Congress to take common sense measures for the sake of our children," said Bishop T.D. Jakes , senior pastor of The Potter's House, a 30,000-member congregation.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez , President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, added, "Hispanic evangelicals stand committed to joining other communities of faith in advancing an agenda that protects our children, communities and future. For at the end of the day, we understand that silence is not an option. Quenching the spirit of violence advances not the agenda of the donkey or the elephant but more importantly, it advances the agenda of the lamb."

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SOURCE: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
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