Prior to the attack, important work was being done in St. Cloud to build a community resilient enough to come together in periods of trauma. Organizations like Religions for Peace-USA and the Minnesota Council of Churches work to spark conversations between faith leaders and create mutually beneficial relationships between the diverse Muslim and Christian communities. While there is much progress to be made, our partners have supported local leaders to establish a base of understanding and respect between faith communities that will make recovery and growth possible. Public gatherings and mobilization in support of a strong, diverse community in Saint Cloud are giving hope in hard times.
Times like this can be turning points, and thoughtful, honest conversations are critical to ensuring this period of change builds trust and better relationships, instead of stoking the rhetoric of fear.
At GHR, our hearts go out to the victims of violence in Saint Cloud. We also recognize the threat of a harmful backlash, and stand with the city’s Somali community as they continue to face discrimination. This tragic event remains a source of pain for all involved, but by coming together and building bridges between faiths, we can equip our communities with the tools necessary to recover, rebuild and live together. This work will continue to need the support of other funders, faith leaders, community activists and civic leaders. We hope you will join us.
To learn more about how building bridges between faith leaders and communities can help solve development challenges and build social cohesion, contact us.