Local Faith Communities

of the East Village, NYC

General Counselor Sissel Breie

The People of Norway

Mission of Norway at the United Nations

825 Third Avenue, 39th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10022-7584

September 11th, 2011

Dear General Counselor Sissel Breie, people of Norway

We share our deepest sorrow in the darkness of July 22nd.   This great tragety echos in all our hearts, and deeply touches our one humanity.   The attacks on the government offices in Oslo and the youth on Utøya were attacks against each of us.

We will not say that we know how you feel because the pain is unique, but we reach within and across the ocean to hold you by the hand and walk with you in prayer, in love, and with the conviction that together, “we shall overcome.”

We are a group of diverse faith leaders; Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and most all Christian denominations in one neighborhood who have joined together years ago to stand up to prejudice and hatred, especially that used in our names.  “It is so easy to divide, and so hard to bring people together,” but most healing and rewarding.

We continue to come together to not only help each other with our shared challenges, but to celebrate the richness and joyous elements of each of our faith traditions.  It remains humanities strength.  We wish to thank you for the character you have shown in the face of overwhelming calamity, and support you with great encouragement for the actions and statements of your leadership and your people who’ve spoken up against fear, toward strengthening greater community.   Thank you for this shining example.   It genuinely forever honors each precious life on that day.  If there is anything we can do, we are here, with you.

Local Faith Communities  

The East Village, New York City, NY


Rabbi Greg Wall

Sixth Street Community Synagogue

Father Arthur Wendel

Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

Father Michael Suvak

Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection

Imam Abu Sufian

Madina Masjid Mosque

Yajna Purusha das, 

Bhakti Center

Reverend Adriene Thorne

Middle Collegiate Church

Sam Ruiz

Iglesia Alianza Cristiana y Misionera

Lama Pema Dorjee

Nechung Foundation

Ted Walker

Mary House (The Catholic Worker)

Rabbi Laurence Sebert, 

Town and Village Synagogue   


Reverend Winnie Varghese, 

St. Mark’s in the Bowery


Father Joseph Gingrich, 

St. Nicolas of Myra Orthodox Church                                 

Father David Kossey, 

St. Mary’s American Orthodox Church


Anthony Donovan, 

Local Faith Communties, co-founder

Two days later we received a very touching response from General Counselor Sissel Breie.

“Thank you for your compassion, your thoughts, and your warm words, which are greatly appreciated....

Our country is in deep mourning after the horrific and tragic attacks......   This was not only an attack on innocent young people, but also an attack on our democracy.

You have shown great solidarity at our time of sorrow and distress, and we would like to thank you for your sympathies, which are heartfelt.   The support from so many in the US and the rest of the world is comforting to all Norwegians....”