December 7, 2022
Leaders of diverse faith traditions who participated in the Orlando shootings memorial event in Reno, Nev. on June 12, 2016. (Photo by George Anastassatos) 
Leaders of diverse faith traditions who participated in the Orlando shootings memorial event in Reno, Nev. on June 12, 2016. (Photo by George Anastassatos)

RENO, Nev. (June 12, 2016) — A multi-faith gathering; containing leaders of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Native American and Atheist traditions gathered June 12 in Reno to condemn the Orlando, Florida night club massacre that killed 50 and injured 53 earlier that day. A lamp was lit by various religious leaders on the occasion.

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, organized the gathering at South Reno United Methodist Church where leaders jointly stated, “We, the faith leaders of Nevada, unanimously condemn any and all acts of violence against innocent people” and gathered faith leaders repeated it after him while standing. A moment of silence was also observed in which audience of about 150 people and faith leaders stayed standing for the Orlando shooting victims and their families.

“We are deeply saddened by this morning’s tragedy of Orlando nightclub massacre. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. It was a senseless and shocking violence,” Zed said. “We, as people of faith, despite our different belief systems, must take a stand against violence by coming together with kindness and love.”

Other leaders who participated in this event included Dawn Flower, senior pastor of South Reno United Methodist Church; Abdul Rahim Barghouthi, acting imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Matthew Fisher, resident priest of Reno Buddhist Center; ElizaBeth Webb Beyer, rabbi of Temple Beth Or and North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation; Gene Savoy Jr., bishop of International Community of Christ; Justin Deverse, Baha’i teacher; Brian Melendez, American Indian spirituality scholar; Bernard Drumm, atheist leader; and Kenneth Lucey, religion professor at University of Nevada.

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