Prayers continue Sunday in Oklahoma for those affected in the Paris and Beirut attacks.
The Council for American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma held an interfaith vigil in Oklahoma City to pray for the victims, denounce ISIS and fight for the understanding of the Islam religion.
The Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City says since the Paris attacks, they’ve only received one threatening phone call telling Muslims here to quote “get out.” So as they pray for ISIS victims, people in attendance also prayed for unity here on American soil.
Dozens of people of all of different faiths bowed their heads Sunday under the same roof. They acknowledged every single life lost between Paris and Beirut. Among those who gathered was John Leonard of Oklahoma City who says his spirituality doesn’t fit into one religion.
“I’m a very spiritual person, but I hold that to me. That’s me and me alone,” he said.
He says that’s how he also views all aspects of love and hate.
“I think we all believe in the same thing, I think most of the world wants good,” said Leonard.
That’s what religious leaders and CAIR want to educate people of all faiths on.
Speakers at the vigil included the Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee, Oklahoma Conference of Churches; Rabbi Vered Harris, Temple B’nai Israel; and Dr. Carl Rubenstein, Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma.
Leaders told the crowd at the vigil that Muslims are a vital part to Oklahoman society who shares the same values as other Americans.
“As human beings, we seem to be scared of the ‘other.’ People of faith should see that we’re all created by one creator that sees us all as his children,” said Imad Enchassi with the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. “This is an attack on humanity. ISIS is not Islamic, nor is it a state.”
But the vigil brought others who say coming together is dangerous.
“They’re getting a bad rap for just reason. I believe their motives and intentions are fulfilling biblical prophecies,” said Christian demonstrator Justin Schoelen. “I believe this interfaith movement is not of God. We’re not supposed to co-exist.”
But in the pews, each Christian, Jewish person and Muslim continues praying for victims worldwide and for a unified future.
“I think this is a universal showing that love wins. Love wins all. That’s what this is about,” said Leonard.
Prayer vigils for the victims in Paris and Beirut continue this week. The Holocaust Remembrance and Restitution Foundation will hold a memorial at the OKC Memorial on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.