RNS | Widower of Emanuel 9 victim, formerly detained pastor call for unity on prayer day

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Standing before a National Day of Prayer gathering, the Rev. Anthony Thompson called himself an example of the day’s theme of loving one another — no matter what.

“Can you love someone who hates you because of the color of your skin?” he asked the crowd of more than 200 assembled Thursday (May 2) at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall and others watching via TV and social media. “Can you love someone because they hate you for being gay or being different?”

Thompson’s late wife, Myra, was one of the “Emanuel 9,” members of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., who were killed during a Bible study by white supremacist Dylann Roof in 2015.