Multifaith candlelight vigil & prayers for Buffalo supermarket shooting victims

Reno: Religious leaders belonging to diverse religions and denominations held a candlelight vigil and prayers for Buffalo supermarket shooting victims here on May 15. 

Organized by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Saint Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church Rector Father Thomas W. Blake; besides candlelight vigil, it included prayers by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Baha’i religious leaders. 

Prayers were recited by Abdelaziz H. Elsheikh, Imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Benjamin Katz, Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El; Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism; Reverend Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Senior Buddhist Priest; Father Thomas W. Blake, Rector of Saint Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church; Micheal L. Peterson, NW Nevada Media Specialist of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Nevada Methred, Baha’i Teacher; etc. Well-known harpist Regan K. Gallagher delivered prayer through harp and Lieutenant Matthew Petersen of Reno Police Department also spoke. 

Rajan Zed said, “We, the religious leaders in northwestern Nevada, are deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy.  Our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones and the entire Buffalo community. Targeting innocent people at a supermarket is abhorrent.” 

Urging for interfaith unity, Zed said, “We, as people of faith, despite our seriously different belief systems, must take a stand against violence and hatred by coming together with kindness and love.” 

Father Blake, whose church hosted this vigil, said, “It was a senseless and shocking act of violence. We condemn any and all acts of violence against innocent people. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathies go out to the victims, their families and friends. We are praying to God to provide the mourning families and others touched by this tragedy the help and consolation in dealing with this at the difficult time.” 

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