DEARBORN, Mich. (WJBK) - In a showing of unity and support, leaders of several faiths gathered in Dearborn Thursday to condemn the synagogue mass murders and to pray for peace and tolerance.
Robert Bowers is charged with walking into Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and murdering 11 people because of their faith. The group of leaders who were in Dearborn believe that to be silent would be a betrayal of peace and justice.
"This world and this country suffer from a sickness. A sickness that is at once terribly modern and as ancient as souls. S sickness defined today by white nationalism," Rabbi Nate DeGroot said.
The 11 people murdered were welcoming an 8-day old baby in the Jewish covenant when they were murdered. DeGroot's congregants had traveled with Tree of Life worshippers in Pittsburgh.
"The Jewish community is so small and tightly connected. It was a tragedy and we're here today to grieve a loss of life and also to reassert our common humanity and to reassert that until all of us are free, none of us are free," DeGroot said.
Unified in faith, DeGroot was joined by Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi from the Islamic House of Wisdom and Rev Robert Schoenhals from the First United Methodist Church of Ferndale.
Bowers has pleaded not guilty in the case and is requesting a jury trial. He faces over 40 federal charges, many of which carry the death penalty.