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Bishop Schwerin Calls for Prayer After Plainfield Hate Crime

Posted: October 16 2023 at 01:33 PM
Author: Bishop Dan Schwerin

Grace and peace to you in the name of the One who makes us whole.

I write today to call us to prayer and compassion. After the United Methodist Council of Bishops’ Oct. 9 call to prayer and support of relief efforts in the Middle East, a Plainfield landlord allegedly fatally stabbed a six-year-old Muslim boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, and wounded the boy’s mother, Hanaan Shahin, this past Saturday. The man will be charged with first-degree murder and two counts of hate crimes. The boys’ relatives said the landlord singled out his victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Hamas. 

As people of faith we are called to do all we can to honor and embrace our Muslim brothers and sisters. This is a time to show our unity in God and demonstrate the bonds that connect us. 


While we continue in prayer for the hostages, the humanitarian crisis, the devastation, the loss of life Gaza and Israel, and the threat of escalated conflict, we also pray for Rev. Jane Eesley, a Northern Illinois Conference elder and the United Methodist staff person in the Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem. The Liaison Office is a partnership of the World Methodist Council, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, and the Methodist Church in Great Britain. The office released a statement calling on Methodists around the world “to continue to pray for peace and for an end to the violence.”

I John 4:8 ends by affirming that “God is love.” Love is our means and love is our goal. Our life together is a resistance and an alternative to the injustice that disfigures creation and harms those created in God’s image. 

We hold this Plainfield family, the Muslim community, the Palestinian community, and the Jewish community around the world in our prayers and relief efforts. Know that I am praying for the ways you witness to a beloved community that will be our healing as together we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

May grace be in our steps.

Dan Schwerin, Bishop

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