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Statement on the Killing of Worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue

I am full of grief over the horrendous murders of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack ever on Jews in the United States. An attack on one religious community is an attack on all of us. Each and every person, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist, is a child of God and beloved by God.  

The value of a human life is supreme, as the Jewish scriptures state, “If any man has caused a single soul to perish, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had caused the whole world to perish, and if any man saves alive a single soul, Scripture imputes it to him as though he had saved the whole world.” My prayers are for the victims, that they may be comforted as they ascend to the spiritual world, and for their families and friends in their grief.  My prayers are also for America, beset by the dark spirit of division.  Let us resolve to work to heal our nation, each in our own way, with God’s love and with a spirit of love and peace for people.     

Hugh D. Spurgin Ph.D.

President, Unification Theological Seminary