Interfaith Prayer Rally condemns hate in Cleveland

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Clergy from all faiths gathered Monday evening on the steps of City Hall to rally against hate.

"We must stand together. Together we can rule out this wicked and malicious disease and so tonight we declare hatred is not welcome in our town," said Suburban Temple Rabbi Allison Van.

Passionate speeches by people, like Rabbi Van, brought about a round of applause from the crowd and fellow clergy members.

"Bigotry is not welcome in Cleveland. Racism is not welcome in Ohio City. Hatred is not welcome in Shaker Heights," said Rabbi Van.

Mt. Zion of Oakwood Village Reverend Larry Macon said it's more important than ever for the community to come together.

"What happened in Charlottesville impacts the entire nation and it also sends a message to other cities in the nation. I think Cleveland needs to be one of the first places to speak out and do things to prevent that violence from happening here," Rev. Macon said.

He said people in Cleveland are afraid that what happened in Charlottesville could happen here. He believes the best way to keep the peace is to get to know one another.

"We need to sit down at the table together. We have to call for constant unity. We have to see each other's differences. We should never allow our differences to lead to the kind of escalation that we heard in the Charlottesville," he said.

Other speakers, like Fairmount Temple Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, also spoke out about racism and nationalism.

"You can believe hateful things, you can speak hateful messages, but we know that the America you want to claim to want again is beyond your grasp. You cannot have this country back, and it was never really yours," said Rabbi Nosanchuk.

As Greater Cleveland leaders condemned hate, they stood together to try to set an example of acceptance and unity.

"Love, you are welcome here. Welcome home," said Rabbi Van.

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