Religious freedom summit opens with stories of religious violence and resilience

Ministerial Advance Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON (RNS) — The rabbi of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, site of an October mass shooting, tries to avoid using the word “hate” and wishes others would do the same.

A Muslim man who lost his wife in the March attack on his New Zealand mosque urges love for every human being.

A Christian woman from Sri Lanka hopes religious leaders will remain compassionate even in the wake of terrorist bombings that killed Christians attending Easter services in the spring.

All three spoke at the opening of the State Department’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on Tuesday (July 16). They shared first-person stories of violence against houses of worship — and resilience of survivors — that help fuel the department’s goal to enhance religious liberty across the globe.

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