An interfaith statement on the kidnapping of three teens in Israel

AJC Los Angeles has reached out to our community partners, including faith leaders, to express their support in this crisis. To that end, we share an Interfaith Statement of Solidarity and Concern issued by the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders earlier today (list of signatories in formation):

The members of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders are deeply saddened by the abduction of three Israeli teenagers—Eyal Yifrah, age 19; Gilaad Shaer, age 16; and Naftali Frenkel, age 16 and an American citizen—who were kidnapped last Thursday on their way home from school.

Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families as we appeal for their speedy and safe return.

Our hearts are broken that innocent young men have been taken captive. We stand in solidarity with leaders around the world who have unequivocally condemned the teens’ abduction, and commend Israeli and Palestinian cooperative efforts to bring these boys back to their families as soon as possible. We echo the words of Psalm 121 in praying:

The Lord will guard them from all harm and guard their lives.

The Eternal One will guard their going and coming, now and evermore.  Amen.


Bishop J. Jon Bruno
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
President, Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders

Rabbi Mark S. Diamond
Director, Los Angeles Region, American Jewish Committee (AJC)
Immediate Past President, Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders

Reverend Linda L. Culbertson
General Presbyter
Presbytery of the Pacific
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church 

Bishop Dr. R. Guy Erwin
Southwest California Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Rev. Felix C. Villanueva
Conference Minister
Southern California Nevada Conference,
UCC, United Church of Christ

About the Council

Representing faiths in the Abrahamic tradition for more than three decades, the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders is an informal alliance of heads of major religious bodies in the Greater Los Angeles area consulting and collaborating in common cause.

Current initiatives include “One Voice for Immigration Reform.” An related interfaith prayer service is set for 9am, Friday, April 4, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. The public and the media are invited.

Recent efforts have focused on health-care policy together with interfaith communication and collaboration such as the OneLight prayer service held in 2011 in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti, then president of then Los Angeles City Council.

The Council's current president is the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Most Recent Past Presidents:  Rabbi Mark Diamond, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian.