Religious leaders stress peace, love to protesters

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As many across the country exercise their right to assemble, church leaders are calling on protestors to do so peacefully and remain hopeful for the change they seek.

Father Peter Kavanaugh of the St. Benedict Orthodox Church said he hopes residents who choose to protest to do so in a spirit of, just to name a few, humility and conviction in what they believe.

“Humility in knowing that we won’t find the answer as America without working together,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh as well as Rev. Angus Thompson of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church said a clean and loving heart should be the driving emotion behind protestors, demanding a change country-wide regarding police brutality.

“Love does not mean as far as we are concerned that we overlook or excuse, love does not mean that love means to hold accountable, love in the way that Jesus loved and try to have some corrective information to give,” Thompson said.

“We have to learn to love God first and then we have to learn how to love one another despite how we look, despite our different beliefs and to learn to forgive one another and to learn to listen to one another,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh said he believes in the days ahead it is important more than ever to suppress the feelings of frustration and fear and try to see God in the other person.

“I believe that the truest activists are the men and women in this country who are on their knees in prayer,” Kavanaugh said.

Thompson said it is a wonderful thing to see all generations and races come together in the streets.

“One of the great leaders America has ever produced, one of the greatest leaders, Dr. King,” Thompson said. “Dr. King talked about non-violence and pray that as we march we don’t march with a bitter heart, with hatred in our heart.”

Thompson said he urge protesters to march with the expectation that there will be change.

Both Kavanaugh and Thompson emphasize, however, that without love, peace and a relationship with God, the march for justice would not be done effectively.

Thompson said a portion of the upcoming service on Sunday at New Jerusalem Baptist Church will be dedicated to George Floyd.

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