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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Solidarity with Sri Lanka and All Those Affected by Violence

Dear Emerson community,
On the heels of Easter, in the midst of Passover, and as we look towards Ramadan, we find ourselves once again mourning another act of violence targeting a faith community. This time, this act of violence took place at three Easter Sunday services and in hotels throughout Sri Lanka, where Christians are a religious minority.

This act of violence not only grieves, jars, and upsets us, it also reverberates across our bodies and our planet as we remember so much violence towards communities on the margins. As Steve Simon, State Secretary of Minnesota wrote this weekend:

In Sri Lanka the victims were Christian.

In New Zealand last month the victims were Muslim.

In Pittsburgh last year the victims were Jewish.

If you pray, pray for an end to religious bigotry — and to the violence it inspires.

In the immediate aftermath of the loss of nearly 300 lives, we turn our attention to offering our solidarity and sympathy to the families of the dead, to the injured, to the Christian community in Sri Lanka, to those in our own communities who grieve with them, and to members of religious minorities in our own communities. None of us should feel afraid in our homes, our schools, or our places of prayer. It is a profoundly violent act to target a religious group in their house(s) of worship on such a holy day, particularly one that focuses on celebration of joy and new life.

We will continue our piece of the work to dismantle the forces of hate and violence in our world. We are profoundly grateful for the rich religious and spiritual diversity here at Emerson, and the freedom to practice our many traditions.

I’ll close with an invitation for us to gather in community and in solidarity with those grieving, lost, and wounded in Sri Lanka. Please join us for a “Circle Up for Peace” this Thursday, April 25, at 1:00 pm, in the Reflection Room (Piano Row L154).

May peace and love prevail in this time of calamity and violence.

In Solidarity,

Julie Avis Rogers

Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and Campus Chaplain