The Minnesota Council of Churches, whose members represent about 1,000,000 Christians in Minnesota, want you to know, St. Cloud, that you are  in our prayers and we stand with you in grief over the violence at Crossroads Mall this weekend.


Our organization often serves as a bridge between the Christian and Muslim communities and we know that, much like Christianity, Islam condemns violence against innocents. We are grateful for Muslim leaders who remind us all of that.


In the greater St. Cloud area there are so many good and faithful people already working together to reduce fear between Christians and Muslims. We applaud the work of the Catholics, Muslims, Protestants and others whose work has strengthened this community and fought against fear.


As Christians, we are not called to fear but to compassion. We pray for those who were stabbed in the mall: we are grateful that their lives were preserved. We also pray for the family and community of the attacker, who lost a young man whose violent actions were by all accounts never hinted at.


We are also grateful for Officer Falconer’s courage on the scene. His actions protected innocent people. We pray for all of our peace officers, that they may continue to keep all Minnesotans safe.


Finally, we acknowledge that when it comes to living in a peaceful society, each of us has a role to play. In days to come we must remember that ‘blessed are the peacemakers,’ and we must be willing to speak up if we see any person being targeted for their religious beliefs. After all, one of the most important commandments we are given is to love our neighbors as ourselves…  #stcloudtogether