In a heart-felt plea to the clergy of several faiths and denominations across America, Episcopalian Minister Rev. John Flobergdeclared it their common duty to, “stand on the side of the oppressed and to pray for God’s mercy in these challenging times.”
He hoped for support from about 100 of them on the 3rd November 2016, at the site of the protests taking place in Dakota.
On the day in question, Rev. Floberg was amazed to see over 500 clergy from 20 different faiths rally together at the site in solidarity with the Sioux people and all those who support their cause, to change the course of events unfolding there.
Figure 2 Rev. Floberg stands to the left. Image by Lynette Wilson of the Episcopal News Service
A morning prayer circle was formed at the OcetiSakawincamp by several Christian denominations as well as leaders from the Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Unitarian faiths.
A march along the North Dakota highway 1806 by faith leaders and the Sioux water protectors was held while others marched on the North Dakota state capitol Bismarck, which resulted in the Capitol building being locked down.
A papal document, the Doctrine of Discovery, issued the Catholic papacy in the 15th century, was burned as a statement against the oppression of minorities across the world.
As winter approaches, the two camps in the area, OcetiSakowin and Sacred Stone, are in dire need of food, and supplies.
Rev. Stephanie Sellers of the Episcopal Church, who works for evangelism and reconciliation, stated that their efforts to provide food and other needs to the people of the area was what, “the love of God enacted looks like.”
There is a unified voice amongst the clergy in the area, making it clear that the issues of greed and oppression of anyone, regardless of their faith, race, or political alignment, is something people need to stand up against, together.