Statement on Uvalde School Shooting



There is a crisis within our nation that our leaders whom we have elected, are failing to address. From churches to temples, synagogues, apartment complexes, elementary schools, offices, airports, and supermarkets - the list goes on and on - there is a pandemic of mass gun violence in our nation. Every elected leader in our nation - irrespective of political persuasion - has offered their prayers and condolences. These two acts, however, cannot be mere expressions of the tongue or words on a piece of paper, they must be followed up with action to change what is wrong in our nation.

Even in the Orthodox Church's Divine Liturgy, we pray for the 'poor, the weak, the exiles, those in solitary confinement, for orphans and widows...' this prayer is meant to invoke an act of faith on those who pray it to be the hands and feet of Christ and minister to them, to be present with them. Ultimately, we are called to do something, not just pray and conveniently leave it up to God because we are either lazy or lack the courage to stand for what is right.

What has happened in Uvalde, Texas, is just 10 days after another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Mass gun violence does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, age, gender, social class, etc. When will the leaders of our great nation wake up and act for the sake of 'we the people'? What is evident in all of these mass shootings is that regular people are able to realize that 'we are our brother's keeper', whereas our politicians are still hiding much like Cain, behind the question 'am I my brother's keeper?' (Genesis 4:9).

There must besensible gun control measures set in place by our leaders, as it is evident that there are needed changes to our current gun laws. One life gone, is just one too many. The clergy and faithful of the Northeast American Diocese join me in praying for those who grieve. May our Lord wipe every tear from the eyes of those who mourn. May our cries of grief wake up our elected officials to act in the interest of the safety and lives of our fellow citizens.

Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos
Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

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