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Reform Jewish Leader Condemns Alabama Church Burnings
In response to the recent wave of arson in Alabama that has damaged and destroyed several Baptist churches, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued a statement, noting the hateful nature of the crimes is indisputable and reminds us of the intolerance that still remains in our country.

Saperstein: … the hateful nature of the crimes is indisputable and reminds us of the intolerance that still remains in our country.

Contact: Alexis Rice and Jason Kleinman, 202.837.2800

Washington, February 16, 2006 – In response to the recent wave of arson in Alabama that has damaged and destroyed several Baptist churches, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the congregants and clergy of the Alabama Baptist churches that have been maliciously destroyed and damaged.

We do not yet know whether the series of assaults on Alabama’s churches are acts of random violence or a targeted effort to instill fear among people of a particular faith. We do, however, know that the hateful nature of the crimes is indisputable and reminds us of the intolerance that still remains in our country.

We join the call for a prompt and thorough investigation of these horrible crimes. Violence of any kind has no place in our society, but violence fueled by religious prejudice is particularly abhorrent. People of all religions have the right to pray in peace, and we stand with the people, congregations and communities who have been victimized by these senseless acts.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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