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Faith In The Wake Of Tragedy

Orlando Shooting Reactions from KC's Religion Leaders

A crowd gathering Religious leaders and Kansas City Mayor Sly James joined members of the LGBT community at Barney Alllis Plaza on Sunday in response to the Orlando shootings. (Photo: Daniel Boothe | Flatland)
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President Obama has called the Orlando, Florida massacre a case of “homegrown extremism,” with gunman Omar Mateen reportedly pledging allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack at a popular gay nightclub. But the religious sentiment was altogether different at a Sunday evening vigil in downtown Kansas City to honor the dead and wounded from what is now being called the deadliest shooting rampage in American history.

The event drew a variety of faith leaders, and Flatland gathered their perspectives on the tragedy as part of the KCPT and Hale Center for Journalism project Beyond Belief, a series of stories and discussions about faith in our city.

‘True Muslims Would Never Commit Such a Terrible Act’ | Abdulrahman “Wajeeh” Alkhiary, Human Rights Activist


‘Stop, Pray, and Love.’  | Rev. Donna J. Simon, St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church 


‘We Are All Created, As We Say in Hebrew, B’tselem Elohim: In God’s Image.‘ |  Rabbi Douglas A. Alpert, Congregation Kol Ami


‘God Loves All of Us, Even the Person that Committed This Horrible Crime.’ | Beau G. Heyen, President and CEO, Episcopal Community Services


‘We are Bigger than This, We are Better Than This.’ | Kevin White, Deacon, St. Mary’s Church, Kansas City.


‘How Can We Make Changes in Our Society?’ | Josh Paszkiewicz and Tam Bi, United Buddhist Church



For continued coverage of the Orlando events, follow NPR’s The Two Way blog.

This story is part of the KCPT and Hale Center for Journalism project Beyond Belief, a series of stories and discussions about faith in our city. The project is part of Localore: Finding America, created by AIR, a Boston-based network of independent public media producers. Principle funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

— Daniel Boothe is a reporter for Kansas City Public Television. To reach Boothe email him at dboothe@kcpt.org.

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