Interfaith Covenant for Freedom, Equality and Justice
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Press Release:June 27, 2008

Interfaith Covenant for Freedom, Equality and Justice

Religious leaders from various faith communities met Thursday, June 26, 2008 to sign an interfaith covenant for freedom, equality and justice.

After months in the making, Imam Steve Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America, Father Gary Shulte of St. Sylvester Church, Rev. Roger Facione of Calvary Lutheran Church, and Rev. Michael Curro of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ) signed the “Interfaith covenant for Freedom, Equality, and Justice” document vowing to work together to ward off prejudice and discrimination in our communities with the help and support of clergy and civic leaders through educational and cultural events designed for that purpose.

Below is the complete text of the covenant.

INTERFAITH COVENANT FOR FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND JUSTICE

We the religious leaders of the cities of Center Line and Warren, Michigan offer this statement in support of religious freedom, cultural diversity, interfaith and ecumenical cooperation, nonviolence, and economic and social justice.

We believe, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, that all people are created equally. We champion the inherent worth and dignity of every person, regardless of color, ethnicity, and/or religion. We assert that ultimately all people of the world belong to ONE HUMAN RACE. Together we all share a universal commitment to the inherent well-being of every person in the cities of Center Line and Warren.

We are united toward the cause of protecting the right to worship and to practice one’s religion freely without the threat of intimidation, violence, or discrimination. We declare that the diversity of our world is a gift from our Creator to be celebrated, honored, and protected. Every religion strives for justice, peace, and harmony. We affirm that it is essential to our identity to work together cooperatively towards this end.

We are united in speaking out against any expression of intimidation, prejudice, and/or discrimination that attempts to injure an individual, families, or a group of people. This is especially true considering each of our faiths believe in nonviolent solutions to human suffering and injustice.

We declare that these truths are at the core of our respective faith traditions. They need to be proclaimed, taught, and practiced in our daily lives for the health and quality of our community and ultimately, our world.

Therefore, we the undersigned join in covenant to:

1) Stand together in support of religious freedom, cultural diversity, and interfaith and ecumenical cooperation, and speaking out against any expression of intimidation, prejudice, and/or discrimination;

2) Work together for the betterment of our entire community;

3) Promote nonviolence, economic and social justice, and respect for all;

4) Reaffirm that our local governments continue to protect the rights of all people and faiths and insure that those nondiscriminatory rights extend to all within our cities.

5) Regularly hold community events to build bridges of understanding among people of different cultures and faith traditions.

The Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, is a non-violent movement whose aim is to promote and struggle for justice.

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