May 5, 2019 — Warsaw, Poland
Poland Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, with AJC Central Europe assistance, held an interfaith service in memory of the victims of recent terror attacks in New Zealand, California, and Sri Lanka.
“Any murder in the house of worship is for me beyond words,” said Rabbi Schudrich during the Friday evening service at the Nozyk Synagogue. “It all starts with hate speech. The only response is a prayer. Our only reaction can be not more anger but more love.”
The Rev. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesperson of the Polish Catholic Bishops' Conference, and Imam Adham Abd El Aal, former chair of the Warsaw Muslim Community, joined with Rabbi Schudrich in leading the service.
“Let's say together and loudly this has to be stopped. Whoever commits such terrible crimes, we must say ‘not in our name’,” said Imam El Aal.
Rev. Rytel-Andrianik underscored that "we have to show unity, specifically when we experience pain. We have to speak and act in unison."
More than 100 people attended the service in a strong display of solidarity with the terror victims and their targeted communities.
“We commend Polish religious leaders for joining in a powerfully moving service in memory of the victims of hate and encourage all people of good will to take this as inspiration to pursue mutual understanding, acceptance, and respect,” said Sebastian Rejak, Acting Director of AJC Central Europe, who helped organize the event.