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National Faith Leaders Offer Emergency Prayer for the Soul of Nation


January 7, 2021


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, (540) 280-3393

Monica Forero, monica@newheightscommunications.com, (703) 953-0141


As white supremacists attack the Capitol, interfaith leaders demand election to be certified and provide spiritual nourishment in weeks ahead

Washington, D.C. — As the nation reels from an unprecedented attack on democracy at the U.S. Capitol by white supremacists, interfaith leaders gathered virtually to pray for the soul of our nation and the end of white supremacy, to demand certification of the election, and to provide spiritual nourishment for the weeks ahead. 

In a call just hours after terrorists swarmed the U.S. Capitol, ransacking leadership offices the the House of Representative chambers, leaders from Faith in Public Life, National Council of Churches, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Sojourners, Human Rights Campaign, Revolutionary Love Project and Duke University condemned the extremism and violence as “traitorous” and called for the nation to come together in prayer for the future of democracy.

To watch the event, click here

Rev. Jennifer Butler, Faith in Public Life: 

“We are standing in the lineage of those who have marched for justice and freedom throughout the ages, those who have prevailed against all odds, those who have imagined things that could be different and made it so. We walk with the likes of Shifra and Puah and Miriam and Moses and Nehemiah and Isaiah, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and John Lewis, and we walk with the generations of Georgians who have now made history tonight. We do not walk alone.”

Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune, National Council of Churches: 

“Never have we seen anything like this before. Surely, they have arrested us for much much less and it’s unfortunate how we have seen things devolve in our country. I believe, and our faith traditions tell us, that things will turn around.” 

Valarie Kaur, Revolutionary Love Project: 

“I feel this rising rage inside of me. It’s not a vengeful murderous rage that we saw inside the Capitol building. No, this rage is the quiet rage of a woman of color who has long seen her family put in harm’s way again, and again, and again for the last twenty years. It’s a familiar rage, in the face of white supremacists’ violence. If you feel this rage in the face of oppression, in the face of cruelty, in the face of injustice, in the face of ongoing assaults on our democracy, on our safety, on our dignity, it’s okay to let yourself feel it, let yourself scream, let yourself wail. For the rage we experience in the face of this kind of injustice, I call ‘divine rage.’”

Rabbi Jason Kimelman Block: 

From a Hebrew prayer for safety and peace: “Help us to lie down in peace and to lay down in life. Direct us with your good counsel. Shield us and remove us from every enemy, every plague, sword, weapon, famine and every sorry. Remove adversaries in front of us and behind us. Spread over us your canopy of peace.”

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:

“The prayer I bring today is a prayer for all of those thousands of people who came to D.C. believing the lies of a president who is either disconnected from reality or perpetuating this horrible lie on our nation. My prayer for all of those thousands of people who came to D.C. is that they may break out of this spell they have been put under and find a way to truth so that we again can be a people who strives for justice, strives to end the racism in our land, strives to break out of the white supremacist narrative.”

Imam Abdullah Antepli, Duke University: 

“What is better is exactly our ethical and moral test today as an American and as a Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, or people of no faith. We have to reach out to whatever forms our ethical moral framework, whatever informs our decency and civility. We have to respond to this American ugliness with what is better.This evil and ugliness is not limited to this lawless anarchy that has been created; it’s much deeper. Only a few months before, in the same place where there were peaceful protestors, law enforcement responses were all totally different. If the majority of the protestors were anybody but white people, what we have seen today would be much different.” 

Michael Vazquez, Human Rights Campaign:

“The world has been lost to terror and tyranny, but we collectively are the evidence that there is yet still hope. We are seeing the fruits of that dirty wretched affair between white evangelical and white supremacy in living color. But what we are also seeing together as we gather for prayer are the fruits of a people unwilling to be deterred by tyranny and terror and are instead committed to continuing the work of pursuing the common good, the work of liberation of establishing justice, of building peace.”

Rev. Adam Taylor, Sojourners:

“We witnessed with shock and moral outrage that our democracy is fragile and it is in peril. But in the midst of this peril, we are called to lean into God’s presence and stand in God’s promises. We must stand on the promise that God is a rock in a weary land. Today we are weary of hate. We are weary of the lies and conspiracy theories. We are weary of a politics of division and vitriol. Today, we saw an assault on our democracy, we saw a violent insurrection turn what is normally a quiet but sacred procedure in Congress to certify electoral votes and ensure a peaceful transfer of power turn into a dangerous spectacle of sedition and political malfeasance.”


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, we are leading the fight to advance just policies at the local, state and federal levels. Our network of 50,000 leaders engage in bold moral action that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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