GLENDALE, Calif. — Following Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, which so far has left 58 people dead and injured 515 more, national religious leaders reacted to the news with calls to prayer and words of comfort and encouragement. Below are their statements.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd
“The unthinkable and horrific acts of violence against innocent people in Las Vegas moves us to prayer immediately. May the peace of Jesus Christ be with those who have lost loved ones. We pray for those being cared for, as well as for all the first responders.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
“This is not a time for politics, but for prayer. This is not a time for division, but for divine solicitation. We join our hearts, we all take our knees and we pray with all of our might for peace for the families of those whose lives have ended in this tragedy, and for all of those who are still fighting for their next breath. The NHCLC has summoned our entire network of thousands of churches to commit concerted time of prayer in light of this tragedy.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit www.nhclc.org.
Pastor Greg Laurie
“Tragedies like this remind us of the brevity of life and the hope of the Gospel.
“In moments of pain like this one, the worst mass shooting in our country’s history, America needs God as ever before, and those families affected by this tragedy need more love than ever before. I am calling upon our entire network of churches, those affiliated with Harvest Crusades and Christian leaders all across America, to step up by bending down on their knees in intercession for our nation during this time of national grief.”
Pastor Greg Laurie serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, one of the largest churches in America; is the author of more than 70 books; is the creator of 3 feature films; hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, A New Beginning; and is the founder of Harvest Crusades, a large-scale evangelistic ministry attended by more than 7.6 million people worldwide, both in-person in stadiums & arenas across the U.S., Canada, Australia & New Zealand, and via live satellite broadcasts.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
“As Israelis, we understand the pain of terror. Whether it’s the responsibility of a radical Islamist or a domestic terrorist, whether it’s done in the name of religion or not, all terrorism inflicts the same pain, suffering and unspeakable heartbreak. Today, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews grieves with our beloved friends in the United States. We pray for those most closely impacted by the horrific attack in Las Vegas, and we ask God to speak words of comfort and resolve in the mind of every child so that instead of fearing the world, they will be inspired to bring peace to the world.”
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein is the founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, has devoted more than 35 years to building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and broad support for the State of Israel.
Pastor Paula White
“I am praying for every victim, family member, friend and the community of Las Vegas grieving from this horrific act of evil. May you feel the love of God and all of us standing with you in the midst of such pain and turmoil. Sadly, the Orlando community especially knows how to grieve with those who grieve and mourn with those mourn. You have our strongest support, Las Vegas – every ounce of love and care we have is yours.”
Pastor Paula White is the Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, FL, a non-traditional church with a multi-cultural mission whose membership ranges in the thousands. In addition to her role as a pastor, she is an internationally recognized teacher, author, evangelist, and inspirational figure, and is the host of the nationally syndicated program, Paula Today.
Dr. Robert Jeffress
“Today is a day that will live long in American history as a day of tragedy, the largest mass shooting in America, ever. It is also a day where there are no Democrats or Republicans, there are no conservatives or liberals — we are all united as Americans. Together we cry out to God in their time of need. This is a time of great national need and I call on pastors and religious leaders in every corner of the nation to call together their communities in prayer and compassion.”
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His forthcoming book, “A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home,” will release September 2017. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
Dr. James Dobson
“This morning the country was met by the horrific news of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shirley and I are both grieving for the lives lost and the families destroyed by this senseless act. In the face of such cowardice, we can only echo the president’s words that this shooting was indeed ‘pure evil.’
“As the details continue to emerge and as the number of casualties continues to rise, we all want to know what we can do to help. First and foremost, to all of those living in surrounding areas who are healthy and able, I encourage you to please donate blood. Details of how and where to donate can be found online at www.RedCrossBlood.org.
“For everyone else, now is the time to be unified in prayer. Shirley and I are asking for God’s peace and grace for all those who have lost loved ones. We’re also praying for the health and well-being of the many who have been physically wounded as well as the more than 22,000 people in the audience who witnessed last night’s traumatic events unfold. Undoubtedly, children have lost parents, parents have lost children and all are grieving uncontrollably. My heart goes out to them and to all the other family members who are suffering because of this senseless tragedy. And finally, we pray for our country, that peace and goodness would win out, and that we all might live to see the day when these types of mass shootings targeting innocent people are finally brought to an end.”
Dr. James Dobson is a celebrated psychologist, Christian leader, and Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family. Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years in the divisions of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised four U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 18 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. He is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dr. Jack Graham
“It is a tragedy that we have awakened this morning to the news of the largest mass shooting in American history. In moments like this America prays, and America comes together to help. It’s the responsibility of our churches and pastors to lead those efforts until every single person finds the help they need in their time of need. May God bless our nation, and may He protect us from ourselves.”
Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. He is also a noted author, and his PowerPoint Ministries broadcasts are available in 92 countries and are heard daily in more than 740 cities. He has served as the Honorary Chairman of the 2015 National Day of Prayer and as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Follow him on Twitter @jackngraham.
Dr. David Jeremiah
“Today, I pray — not with the polite prayers that accompany a meal or the routine prayers we say before our heads hit the pillow at night, but with the fervent prayers of a heart broken by the tragedy of last night’s mass shooting. It’s in these times where we learn by experience that God is our ever-present help in time of need.
“But beyond praying for the victims of this senseless tragedy, I also pray for national revival, for a nation to once again seek God’s heart and acknowledge His ways. I pray that this tragedy will inspire Christians to share God’s love with every person we can, using every opportunity we have, for wherever evil lives in the corner of a human heart, it can be conquered by the power of the Prince of Peace.”
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point‘s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 stations worldwide. In 1982 Turning Point launched a television program, which conservative estimates suggest that close to 200 million homes around the world have access to Dr. Jeremiah’s Bible teaching each week. Dr. Jeremiah has written more than 50 books.