The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) expresses deep sadness for the loss of 11 lives at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27. The NAE joins fellow Christians in humble prayer for the victims, bereaved families and the community in this time of tragic loss and trauma.

“Words of dismay and lament flow to the synagogue and Jewish community of Pittsburgh and beyond. Our hearts are broken. Tears outnumber words,” said Leith Anderson, NAE president.

The NAE remembers the cry of the Prophet Jeremiah:

A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.

The NAE condemns anti-Semitism, along with all forms of racism. Racism should not only be addressed after tragic events, but regularly in our communities of faith. Churches in the United States have an opportunity to lead the way in combatting attitudes and systems the perpetuate racism.

As the NAE’s recently updated “For the Health of the Nation” states:

Those who are racist or racially indifferent remain trapped in a false sense of self and others, blinding them to the sense of community that democracy requires. The nation will flourish when people of all races and ethnicities are able to contribute equally to society.

In today’s environment of polarized politics and parochialism, the NAE encourages Christians to remember their roles as representatives of Christ and peacemakers in the world.