St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery mourns with the community of the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid, whose imam, Alauddin Akonjee, and assistant, Thara Miah, were shot and killed after prayers on August, 13, 2016. We, along with East Side Interfaith religious leaders sent a letter of support, that reiterated a Joint Affirmation statement written by the group on May, 2009:

We, the local faith communities of Jews, Muslims, Sufis, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists stand here together before you in peace, and as one humanity.

Here in the Lower East Side, with it’s over 250 year history of people from all corners of the world, all faiths, languages and cultures, seeking refuge from great oppression, hatred and poverty, we have had to learn and re-teach ourselves repeatedly about the advantages of and the goodness in tolerance and respect while living side by side.

Let us honor the work of those generations before us who labored together to feed, nourish, educate and build bridges, share our joys and cultural celebrations, and establish our unique houses of worship next to each other.

We gather toward healing (in times of acts of hatred/prejudice), prevention, respect and understanding, in the strength of our deep common values.  We wish to encourage and reflect the greatest shining strength of our city and our nation, the best in us, our unity in our diversity.