An interfaith march is set for September 22nd in Los Angeles and in at least 25 cities and 10 cities abroad.
The Interfaith March for Peace and Justice aims to show solidarity among different religious groups in the fight against religious oppression and violence. This, following a series of acts of violence against places of worships and church leaders, reports World Religions News.
Now is the time for us to speak our minds in public or risk letting our civilization devolve into a barbarism of hatred or something worse. —Professor Arik Greenberg, Loyola Marymount University
The first Interfaith March was organized in April 2017 in Columbus, Ohio by a group of people who wants to support religious minorities, not only in the US, but in other parts of the globe. Hate crimes and intimidation against minorities were rampant and the group wanted their voices to be heard.
The Ohio organizers coordinated with groups from other cities to start their own interfaith march. Cities including Philadelphia and LA joined Columbus, and the second interfaith march in 2018 took place in nine cities in the US and four locations abroad.
“We are thrilled about this development,” said Greg Davis, an interfaith leader from the Columbus, Ohio. “Since our goal is to expand partnerships and put up a big tent for people who care about the basic principles of religious freedom and equal justice for all people.”
In 2017, the FBI said hate crimes in the US spiked by 17%; reporting 7,175 hate crimes compared with 6,121 in 2016. According to the report, 20.6% of the attacks targeted individuals because of their faith, reports BBC.
With the increase in religious hate crimes, Los Angeles-based IRTPJ hopes that similar interfaith marches will happen in more locations.
“Now that our own local LA-based march has become a part of a growing coalition of local marches, we’ve seen what a group of passionate and committed people can do,” said Loyola Marymount University Professor Arik Greenberg, founder of the Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice.
Greenberg added that, “Now is the time for us to speak our minds in public or risk letting our civilization devolve into a barbarism of hatred or something worse.”