Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assemblyman Troy Singleton and Congressman Donald Norcross hold Interfaith Prayer Service in Response to Recent Hate Incidents in Burlington County
MAPLE SHADE, NJ – Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Burlington/Camden), Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), and Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1) tonight hosted an interfaith prayer service, bringing together members of the Burlington County community in response to recent events targeting various religious and racial groups in the region.
“America has always been a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and ideas. We are a nation founded on religious tolerance, but over the past few weeks, disgusting incidents of racial and religious injustice have marred our communities,” said Majority Leader Greenwald. “Recent actions including threats made to our Jewish community and hate flyers distributed by klansmen have brought us all here tonight, joining together in peace to denounce the hate, bigotry, and fear being propagated by these individuals.”
The legislators called for this prayer service after recent incidents of hate in Burlington County and the surrounding area. Most notably, flyers were distributed promoting the Ku Klux Klan and bomb threats were called into the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill. Nationally there has also been a rise in similar events, with over 100 Jewish Community Centers receiving threats in the past two months. Multiple Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated recently, and attacks on immigrants are statistically increasing.
“The recent attacks and threats in our community aren’t against just one religion – they’re attacks against all of us. Christians, Muslims, Jews, and people of all faiths are standing together to take a stand against this hatred – it has no place here or anywhere in America,” said Congressman Norcross.
Congressman Norcross recently requested security funding and an extension of the Urban Area Security Initiative for South Jersey’s Jewish communities, citing recent acts of vandalism and threats.
“Recently, actions by the KKK in releasing racist and homophobic flyers, attacks on immigrants of Indian descent, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and threats of violence at Jewish community centers are designed to sow the seeds of division and heighten fear in our communities,” said Assemblyman Singleton. “Our gathering tonight demonstrates that Burlington County has and will always stand together and speak in a strong unified voice against intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.”
The legislators were joined by Deacon Pat Brannigan, executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference, Rabbi Nathan Weiner, of Congregation Beth Tikvah, Imam Morshad Saami Hossain, of Voorhees Islamic Center, and Reverend Dr. Stanley Hearst, Sr., Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Moorestown. State Assembly members Pamela Lampitt, Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, Joe Howarth, and municipal elected officials from across the region were also in attendance.