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Defending Sacred Spaces: POWER Interfaith Condemns Desecration of Mother Bethel AME Church

(Philadelphia, PA – February 21, 2024) – In solidarity with Mother Bethel AME Church, POWER Interfaith condemns the recent act of vandalism targeting this historic institution. The destruction of stained glass windows at Mother Bethel AME Church is not only an attack on a sacred place of worship but also an assault on the rich legacy and significance of Black history in America.

As an organization committed to justice and equity, we stand firmly in denouncing all forms of violence. While initial reports suggest that racism or religious intolerance may not have been the motive behind this heinous act, we cannot ignore the broader context of systemic injustice and discrimination that continues to plague our society.

It is deeply concerning that a place of such historical importance, serving as a beacon of hope and resilience for generations, could be targeted in this manner. We extend our heartfelt solidarity to Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, the congregation, and all those impacted by this senseless act of vandalism.

In response to this incident, we call upon our community to come together in support of Mother Bethel AME Church. We urge individuals and organizations to contribute to the fundraising efforts initiated by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia to aid in the repair and restoration of the damaged windows.

Furthermore, we echo the call for enhanced security measures to safeguard not only Mother Bethel AME Church but all places of worship and community gathering spaces against future acts of vandalism and hate.

This reprehensible act serves as a stark reminder of the work that remains in combating bigotry and fostering a society built on principles of justice, equality, and solidarity. POWER Interfaith remains steadfast in our commitment to standing alongside those who are marginalized and oppressed, and we will continue to advocate for a world where all are treated with dignity and respect.

In solidarity,

Rev. Gregory Edwards, Acting Executive Director
Rev. Michael Caine, Co-Chair
Imam Abdul-Halim Hassan, Co-Chair