Religious Leaders Commit to Protect Houses of Worship



Orange county register_Page_1 Orange county register_Page_2


OCIN Council of Religious Leaders

Frank 003a-1  more coming soon…

Rabbi Frank Stern

OCIN President


We, religious leaders and teachers from various faith communities, offer our condolences to the families and friends of worshippers around the world killed in the name of God or religion. We are especially dismayed that more and more often these killings occur in their houses of worship. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured in vicious attacks while they prayed and studied. The murder of innocent worshippers in a sacred place of prayer and reflection is an affront to all humanity.

We affirm the following as a universal Statement of Principle and encourage all people of faith to adopt it.


Houses of worship are sacred spaces. They should not be desecrated by acts of aggression, violence or terror.

Houses of worship should be safe for people who pray and study in them.

Weapons, munitions and the tools of war should not be brought into or stored in any house of worship.

Houses of worship should not be used to house hostages, captives or prisoners.

These combative and aggressive activities violate the sanctity of houses of worship and place the people within them at unnecessary risk.

We call upon all people of good will to commit themselves to the inviolability, safety and security of all places of worship in the world. We pray that our cooperation and mutual respect will lead to a more peaceful society in the United States and abroad.

Dear Revered Religious Leader and Teachers,

If you support this interfaith effort to establish this Statement of Principle that houses of worship are sacred spaces and should not be desecrated by acts of aggression and violence, then

1. Add your name to the list of religious leaders and teachers who endorse the Statement.

* Mandatory fields

2. Communicate the Statement to your parishioners and share the fact that you joined other religious leaders and teachers in signing the Statement.

3. Publish the Statement in your faith community’s organs of communication (bulletins, websites, service booklets, special letters, etc.)

4. Include the following prayer in your worship services:

We offer condolences to the family and friends of all worshippers killed in their houses of worship and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in vicious attacks while they prayer and studied. We call upon all people of good will to commit themselves to the inviolability, safety and security of all places of worship throughout the world. May our mutual respect and cooperation lead to a more peaceful society. Amen.

Thank you for your support.

Rabbi Frank Stern
President, Orange County Interfaith Network (OCIN)

Religious Leaders and Teachers who endorse the Statement of Principle
Name & Title
Name & Title
Maria A Bucataru
Jon Benson, C.S. -- Christian Science Practitioner
Rev. Judy DePrete & Rev. Glenda Knox, founders, Common Ground Spiritual Center, Santa Ana
Mohammad Amjad, Ph.D. independent Scholar, human rights and peace activist
Mohammad Amjad
Reverend Bobbi Becker
Mark Currie, Bahai Faith of Huntington Beach
Rev. Karin Ellis, Associate Pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church
Farrah N. Khan, Executive Director, Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council
Don Garrick, Director of Public Affairs, Huntington Beach North Stake
Rev. Jon Wesley Waterson, Downey United Methodist Church
Ann Nguyen
Joe Swoboda, Catholic Theology Instructor, Interfaith Teacher
Ken White, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Orange County
Rev. Louise Fairweathre-Baxter
Rev. Matt Seargeant
Rev. Brent Criswell, Mesa Verde United Methodist Church, Costa Mesa
Rev. Sarah Heath
Rev. Debbie Gara
Most Reverend Bishop Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Orange
Rabbi Frank Stern, President Orange County Interfaith Network (OCIN)
Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, Imam of Islamic Educational Center of Orange County
Bishop Thomas L. Thorkelson, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Rev. Greg Batson, The United Methodist Church
Gurpreet Kaur Singh, Sikh, International Institute of Gurmat Studies, Inc. (IIGS)
Kavi Raj Singh, Sikh, International Institute of Gurmat Studies, Inc. (IIGS)
Rev. Alfred Baca, Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenism and Interreligious for the Catholic Diocese of Orange
Rev. Nancy E. Brink, Director of Church Relations, Chapman University
Reverend Nichelle Madrigal, Shinnyo-en Buddhist Priest
The Rev. Dr. Paul Tellstrom, Senior Pastor, Irvine United Congregational Church
Ayshegul Ashki, Sufi Mystic
Rev. D. Mark Davis
Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein, Founding Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation B’nai Tzedek
Gina Gallion, Social Studies Teacher
Nadia Hassan, Muslim Activist
Don Garrick, Orange County Interfaith Network Board Member
Sande Hart
Rabbi Robin Hoffman
Maria Khani, Senior Muslim Chaplain, Educator and Activist
Rev. Douglas Johnstone, Lutheran Pastor
Rabbi Drew Kaplan - Rabbi, Southern California Jewish Student Services
Clarita member of various interfaith groups
Rev. Darrell McGowan
Fr. Christian Mondor, OFM, PhD, Past President Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, Vicar Emeritus Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church
Rev. Ava Park
Rev. Dr. Peggy Price, Minister Emeritus, Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living, Ambassador Advisor, Parliament of the World’s Religions
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis
Rev. Dr. Stanley D. Smith, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rabbi Richard Steinberg
The Rev. Kay Sylvester, Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
Rabbi K-vod Wieder, Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Trav Williams, Professor & Baha’i
Ilker Yildiz, OC Branch Director, Pacifica Institute
Rabbi David N. Young
Rabbi Gerson Zylberman, President, Orange County Board of Rabbis