Statement by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon on the tragic murders on Portland’s MAX


Our hearts are broken by the tragic murder of two selfless individuals who lost their lives on May 26 as they courageously stood up to a person yelling hate filled speech and threatening two women. A third man was injured by the perpetrator. The two teenage women, an African American and a woman wearing hijab, were riding on Portland’s MAX light rail when the attack occurred. Our prayers and support go out to all of those impacted by this senseless act of violence.

The tragedy happened on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, a time when the Muslim community enters into deep prayer, reflection and fasting. The holy month serves to connect the Muslim community to others, especially the poor, as they fast and remember the suffering of the world.

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) is an ecumenical and interfaith organization dedicated to the unity of all people. We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and with all vulnerable communities, as we seek to restore safety and directly address the root causes of hate and violence in our society. We will continue to work as a community of faith to create a more just world, to build bridges of understanding, and to speak out against any forces that threaten to divide us.

We urge all people of faith and goodwill to join together and take a stand for the values that we share—a belief in the human dignity of every person and the vital importance of working together to create a peaceful and hopeful future for all.

The Rev. Dr. Hugh D. Anderson
Bridge Co-Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of the Cascades, Presbyterian Church USA

The Rt. Rev. Patrick Bell
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon

The Rev. Steve Bils
Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast

The Rev. Dave Brauer-Rieke
Bishop, Oregon Synod – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Jan Musgrove Elfers
Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

The Rev. Dr. Lowell Greathouse
Mission and Ministry Coordinator, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

The Rt. Rev. Michael Hanley
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

Katherine Jameson Pitts
Executive Conference Minister, Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference

The Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample
Archbishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

Dr. Joe Snyder
Representative, Willamette Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends President, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

The Rev. Elaine Stanovsky
Bishop, Greater Northwest Area, United Methodist Church

The Rev. Valerie Walker
Pastor, Portland Community of Christ

CONTACT: Jan Musgrove Elfers, executive director (503) 221-1054,

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