RELEASE: Religious Organizations and People of Faith Are Working To Reduce Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. — Religious organizations and people of faith across the country are working to heal their communities and prevent gun violence through support for commonsense reforms, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.
Gun violence in the form of mass shootings, suicide, violent crime, abuse, and accidental death all has an impact on faith communities as people grieve for victims and survivors seek long-term support networks. And faith communities are often targets of white supremacist attacks and other forms of violence.
“It is no longer enough for policymakers to offer thoughts and prayers following mass shootings or other acts of gun violence,” said Maggie Siddiqi, senior director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at CAP and co-author of the report. “Religious communities join their thoughts and prayers with action. Policymakers should do the same, in partnership with religious communities and other gun violence prevention advocates.”
The report details the breadth of work that faith leaders are doing to reduce gun violence and why policymakers must partner with religious Americans to enact key reforms. Among the work religious groups are doing:
- Organizing community violence intervention
- Addressing the gun violence epidemic as a public health crisis
- Engaging in grassroots organizing for policy change
- Holding those who profit from guns accountable
- Raising awareness about gun violence and mourning those lost
Religious groups are also working to push back against the harmful ideology of Christian nationalism, which research shows is connected to opposition to gun reform.
The report shows how religious communities offer a unique path to engage with diverse communities to address the impacts of gun violence. It urges policymakers to work with these communities to reduce gun violence—including by engaging in violence interruption efforts, countering Christian nationalism and white supremacy, and enacting gun reforms.
The report coincides with the second day of CAP’s 7th annual Gun Violence Prevention Conference, a virtual gathering of policy experts, researchers, survivors, activists, faith leaders, students, veterans, organizers, parents, allies, and others who are committed to creating a world free of gun violence.
Read the report: “Religious Organizations Are Integral to the Fight Against Gun Violence” by Maggie Siddiqi and Benjamin Fleisher
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