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REDDING Calif. - Hundreds of people and dozens of faiths gathered Tuesday in Redding at the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ to mourn and pray for the 50 lives lost at a mosque in New Zealand.
The community vigil was organized by the Shasta County Interfaith Forum.
The group said that their goal was to “to honor those murdered and injured at the mosques in New Zealand and to affirm support for our Muslim brothers and sisters and all faith traditions.”
While remembering and praying for those victims was at the heart of the vigil, many also offered their prayers and wisdom to all victims of recent mass casualties across the globe.
“Hate crimes against our Jewish brothers and sisters are on the rise. As are attacks against African American, Sikh, Muslim LGBT folks. What once would have been unthinkable horrendous deeds are happening on a regular basis,” said one of the speakers.
Many of the speakers talked about how important it was for so many faiths to come together.
“I think when we are exposed to other ways of praying to other faith traditions we see we have more in common than separates us,” said Geri Copitch, a representative from Temple Beth Israel in Redding.
To close the ceremony a prayer was given by candlelight and a bell was rung in remembrance of those lives lost.