Church of Jesus Christ condemns ‘hate-filled rhetoric’ following Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

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A person pauses in front of Stars of David with the names of those killed in a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Pittsburgh, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement regarding the shootings over the weekend at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  

A gunman barged into the Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday and opened fire, killing 11 people in one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in U.S. history.

The 20-minute attack at Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood left six others wounded, including four police officers who responded to the scene, authorities said.

Monday, the Church of Jesus Christ  of Latter-day Saints released the following statement: 

We express our deepest grief and solidarity with our Jewish friends around the world after the heinous violence perpetrated against congregants of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is our constant prayer that God will heal and protect those affected by such tragic events. When the security and religious freedom of our Jewish brothers and sisters is violated, we all suffer. Houses of worship should be safe, inviolate places for people of all faiths to join in sacred fellowship and seek communion with God.

We condemn the environment of hate-filled rhetoric that has become so prevalent. Anti-Semitism has no place in our society. It is the responsibility of good people everywhere to speak out and stand up for each other’s rights to worship and live peacefully.

 The suspect, Robert Bowers, traded gunfire with police and was shot several times. Bowers, who was in fair condition at a hospital, was charged late Saturday with 29 federal counts, including hate crimes and weapons offenses. 

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