Cardin meets interfaith group following Charlottesville riot

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20170831 153445 1Sen. Ben Cardin (D) stands with interfaith clergy at discussion on community unity after Charlottesville rally violence in August. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  While there was much agreement expressed by the 45 interfaith clergy members who attended Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) Aug. 31 meeting on how to unite the community after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., there was also dissent.

While united against President Donald J. Trump’s statement equating white nationalists with the counter protesters at the Virginia rally last month, those attending the 90-minute discussion in Rockville also complained about conditions for their individual communities.

“Why, all of a sudden, does it take one person, one white person, to die, to forget all about the other 19 who were injured,” asked Bishop Paul Walker, of HYOP Life Skills Reentry Program. The death of an African-American doesn’t rile up the community the way the killing of a white person does, he said.


Religious leaders gather together to stand for refugees here and abroad

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OWINGS - Nearly 150 leaders from across Maryland filled the Mt. Hope Community Center in Owings on the afternoon of Jan. 15 for the community interfaith dialogue: “Compassion for Our Neighbor: Standing with Refugees Here and Abroad.”

The event featured expert panelists, faith leaders, and round-table dialogues about the international and Maryland-specific situation of refugees and immigrants and today’s needed community response.

One panelist, Casey Leyva, the Associate Director of Resettlement for World Relief, shared the gravitas of the international situation: “In 2015 alone, 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes, the equivalent of 24 people during every minute of every day.

"This is the most number of people displaced since World War II. Only the most vulnerable refugees are eligible for resettlement in another country, and the United Nations, not the individual, decides where the refugees will be settled.”


Interfaith effort raises funds for hurricane victims

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ROCKVILLE – As residual rains from Hurricane Matthew drenched the area Saturday, several area residents raised money to help victims of the deadly storm in Haiti.

Since the powerful storm hit the small island nation last Tuesday, the death toll has exceeded 1,000, with many others injured and displaced.

Members of the Havre de Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, in association with the Pray at the Pump Movement, held an “emergency fundraiser” at Rockville Union to help purchase food, clothing, and medical care for Haitians affected by the storm.

Rocky Twyman, a local civil rights activist and organizer of the Pray at the Pump Movement, said the event raised about $400.

“In Haiti, one U.S. dollar is worth about 12, so it’s more like $4,800,” Twyman said. “Everyone can do something, and it all helps a lot.”

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