According to the Gaston Gazette, a Walk for Peace arranged by the Gaston Interfaith Trialogue attracted more than 75 Muslims, Jews and Christians who walked side-by-side in Gastonia, North Carolina on Saturday morning. The procession was to symbolize peace and co-existence among the three religions.
The Gaston Interfaith Trialogue is an interfaith group formed 15 years ago and comprises of members from the three Abrahamic faiths in Gaston County. They have held regular meetings in the past 9 years and sponsored many educational and spiritual activities.
“I think this walk for peace can be meaningful not just for relationships between Christians, Muslims and Jews, but it’s a model for how people from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs can come together and be a meaningful community,” said Sydnor Thompson, the former pastor of Myers Memorial United Methodist Church and a member of the interfaith committee that organized the walk.
The 5-mile walk made stops at holy places of worship for the three faiths along the way. Their stops included the First United Methodist Church, St. Stephens AME Zion Church, First Presbyterian Church, Temple Emanuel and the Islamic Society of Gastonia.
A police escort accompanied the walk and a shuttle was provided for those who could not walk, but wished to be a pert of the event.
In light of recent violence, the walk demonstrated the need to be united and was a call for peace. Bruce Cansler, a Muslim convert from Gaston told the Gaston Gazette, that the walk gave him a chance to show others that Muslims believe in love and peace.
“It’s my duty as a Muslim to go into the community because that’s the best example that you can do is to show and prove,” he said. “As human beings, before we judge somebody we need to get to know them and what they believe in.”