Diocese of St. Cloud


Kristi Anderson
Director of Communications
(O) 320-258-7650

January 16, 2024


The following statement was adopted by the Greater Saint Cloud Faith Leaders Group, of which Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C., is a member.

The Greater Saint Cloud Faith Leaders, representing diverse religious traditions, raise our voices in unison to promote peace and understanding during these challenging times. As we witness the rising tide of antisemitism and Islamophobia around the globe and in some communities within our nation, we celebrate that we have Jewish and Muslim residents in our Greater Saint Cloud community. Their safety, as well as harmony among all our faith traditions and community members, is of top importance to us.

Our Shared Humanity:

As people of faith, we share a common belief that all human beings, regardless of their faith, ethnicity, or origin, are created equal and endowed with inherent dignity and worth. This fundamental truth transcends our differences and binds us together in a shared humanity. This shared humanity calls us to oppose all prejudice, bias, and acts of hatred. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are dangerous ideologies that breed fear, discrimination, and violence. They dehumanize entire groups of people, reducing them to harmful stereotypes that too often fuel hostility and mistrust. Amid the current global conflict, prejudice and misunderstanding can also reduce victims to mere statistics or “sides,” where faces, stories and our shared humanity should instead be seen.

To target individuals or communities based on their religious beliefs is not only morally wrong but also a profound betrayal of this shared humanity. Let us, rather, speak truths of peace and seek encounters of understanding that change hearts and help to change our troubled world.

A Call to Action:

Just as we encourage all our faith traditions to do continually, we call upon all people of faith to stand together in solidarity with our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters at this time. We urge you to:

  • Speak out against bigotry and discrimination: Whenever you encounter prejudiced language, including antisemitic or Islamophobic rhetoric, challenge it. Use your voice to promote understanding and respect for all faiths and backgrounds.
  • Educate yourself and others: Combat misinformation and seek various perspectives in media. Resist discrimination by seeking out accurate information. Challenge your own biases and engage in open and respectful dialogue with people of different faiths.
  • Support interfaith initiatives: Build bridges between communities through dialogue, collaboration, and shared projects or events. Celebrate our shared values and learn from one another’s rich traditions.

It is as important as ever to remember that we are neighbors, not adversaries. We choose compassion over division, understanding over fear, and love over hate. Only by standing together, united in our common humanity, can we uphold a community and build a world where all people can live in peace and security, free from prejudice and violence.