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Last updated: Wed. Apr. 16, 2014 - 09:23 am EDT

Interfaith vigil in city a gesture of solidarity

FORT WAYNE — Area religious leaders are inviting Fort Wayne residents to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community after Sunday’s fatal shootings of three people outside Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kan.

An interfaith prayer vigil will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Congregation Achduth Vesholom, 5200 Old Mill Road, said Rabbi Javier Cattapan, the congregation’s spiritual leader.

The event is being organized by an informal group of Fort Wayne clergy who meet for monthly breakfast gatherings, he said.

“They called us, and we were very touched by the outreach,” Cattapan said.

“This is about human beings who are being slaughtered in the name of anti-Semitism.”

According to Associated Press reports, authorities say the accused shooter, Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, is a known white supremacist.

He faces one count of capital murder in connection with the deaths of a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather and one count of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of a woman.

All were shot outside Jewish facilities on the eve of the Jewish commemoration of Passover. None of the victims was Jewish.

Cattapan said the service will be about 30 minutes long and feature prayers. No format has been set, he said.

Those expected to attend, Cattapan said, include representatives from Trinity English Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism.

Representatives from the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne and Congregation B’nai Jacob also are expected, Cattapan said.

Passover began Monday evening and continues through Tuesday.

For many western Christians, Palm Sunday last weekend was the start of Holy Week, which commemorates events leading to the death and resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

This year, by a coincidence of the calendar, the two observances take place during the same time period.

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