Pray for Peace

Greetings, Participating Partners in Prayer:

Following the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, I wrote a letter of solidarity to the Administrative Assistant and congregation of the Orland Park Prayer Center. FPCLG’s Confirmation Class received a gracious welcome and tour of the facility last month and were given the opportunity to observe Asr, afternoon daily prayer of the community. The following is an open letter to the Prayer Center administrator and congregation.

March 15, 2019
Greetings Chaker:

It is with a heavy and angry heart that I write this letter to you today in response to the absurdly evil terrorist attacks on the faithful worshipers in the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The fact that these brutal pointless murders occurred while the community was gathered for prayer makes them all the more heinous, but hateful slaughter cannot be justified at any place at any time by any hand.

Though these atrocities occurred half a world away, I write because we are connected to the hearts of the grieving and the souls of the murdered; you by the international embrace of a common faith, we by the mandates of shared global kinship. Injustice anywhere must be denounced by people of true faith everywhere. And so, I write to you as a brother related by our common creator and our shared hope for peace and justice.

Please know, as your community attempts to make sense of another violent attack on people in prayer, that we pray with you. We stand with you. We desire your protection and we pledge ourselves anew to work for peace.

This work includes the guarding of our lips so that we may not speak of others in a way that can be construed as justifying their mistreatment, diminution, humiliation or marginalization in any social or civic order. The work of peace also means guarding our ears against the withering rhetoric of hate. The work of peace means interposing our words and, if necessary, our very selves against any who suggest another’s life is inferior or unworthy of peace, self-determination or the right to pray without fear.

I am grateful for our friendship, your continued hospitality, the outpouring of your grace towards me and members of my community who have visited the Orland Prayer Center. 

I will be addressing my own congregation this Sunday as we gather for prayers. I will convey to them my sorrow, my sympathy and my insistence that our shared Gracious Creator has placed us in undeniable communion with all who seek justice and work for peace.

Please pass my heartfelt expression of support to your Imam, the honorable and respected Kifah A. Mustapha, and assure him and the whole community of the Prayer Center of Orland Park that our prayers and our congregation will be praying for the relief of suffering and the reign of God’s peace.

Sincerely Yours,
Jonathan B. Krogh