Pittsburgh. October 27,2018.

At least 11 people were killed after a man opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.

The perpetrator entered the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue and yelled ‘All Jews must die,’ according to KDKA, a local radio station.

Today, our Jewish brothers and sisters are hugging their children close in anguish as they try to grapple with this evil. Every Jewish mother and father in America faces the daunting task of telling their sons and daughters there are some in this country who want to kill them because they are Jewish. It is an unthinkable pain and an intolerable reality. 

Now is the time to pray for our friends, to reach out personally with words of comfort and love, and to visibly stand with them against the anti-Semitic poison that fueled this attack. This is the moment when we are deeply needed by our friends, and our voices must be heard in this nation. We will and can not tolerate any threats against any community because of their religion, race or ethnicity.

Our prayers are with the grieving families of those whose lives were lost, the injured who must live with the physical scars of this event, and every Jewish brother or sister who is in pain and fear today.

Father Joseph Varghese

Executive Director, Institute for Religious Freedom and Tolerance, New York.