Religious Leaders Eliminating Fear of Violence

Published: Apr. 29, 2019 at 5:20 PM CDT
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During the final day of Passover, a teenage gunman entered a synagogue in Poway, California. He killed Lori Kaye during the Yizkor service, where Jewish affiliates remember departed family members. It is becoming familiar, but somber image in the world. A similar attack occurred six months ago at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven were killed and seven were injured then, and the urgency to be prepared for these events is growing.

Pastor Todd Leininger of Calvary Assembly of God says his congregation and others have prepared for these familiar situations.

"We've had a company come in and train our people how to be secure," he said. The hardest part for him has been accepting the realization that these situations could occur anywhere.

"We live in a country where we were founded on freedom of religion, freedom to worship our god the way we want to, and when people persecute that my heart aches."

Despite these acts of violence, South Dakota's only Rabbi says these steps back are an opportunity for giant leaps forward.

"We're going to become stronger, we're going to go forward, and nobody will ever be able to dampen our spirits," Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz said passionately.

He also says our first priority is assisting and praying for those involved in the shooting.