COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Stephen’s Episcopal Church and University Center on campus held a vigil tonight as the Ohio State campus and surrounding communities try to come together to support the victims of today’s violent attack.
A number of students gathered to listen to religious leaders from various denominations as they aimed to create a free and open space for students to express their emotions and fears as they try and make sense of the tragedy.
Pastor Bob Turner from University Baptist Church said, “It shakes you to know that you know our church is a block and half from here and that these things can happen without warning, so a lot of the students need to know that God is on their side.”
Regardless of religious denomination, the vigil aimed to provide a peaceful place for all to feel welcome as they lift their thoughts and prayers for the victims of today’s attack.
“The church or the synagogue or the mosque can be a place of love and peace and reconciliation not hate and fear,” said Turner.
The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, is a man of Somali heritage, and much like the sentiments of religious leaders at the vigil, Somali leaders came together tonight at the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to address the tragic event.
Roula Allouch, the National Board Chair of the CAIR said, “The members of the Muslim community here in Ohio and the Somali community as well stand in solidarity with our fellow citizens and with members of Buckeye Nation. We reject any act violence done based on any reason, there’s no justification for an act of violence like this.”