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Courage to Love Neighbors Rises at Arizona Anti-Islam Rally

Fuller Theological Seminary in Phoenix, AZ

In the face of an armed protest against Islam and its adherents, Fuller Arizona alumnus Adam Estle, the executive director of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, helped gather dozens of Christians to pray for peace and build bridges of reconciliation. 

On May 29, Estle and roughly 70 other Christians gathered outside of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona, to protect the center and its attendees against the hate-speech of a group that had gathered to protest Islam. Estle and the others prayed and sang as the protesters—many toting guns, drawings of Muhammed, and profanity-laced signs—defamed and denigrated Muslims and Muslim sympathizers.

Called the Love Your Neighbor Rally, the event saw Estle and others living out their faith by protecting the vulnerable and loving the hateful. “Our aim is to create a physical barrier of protection with our bodies,” the invitation for the event read, “and a spiritual barrier of protection as we pray for the safety of our neighbors and the flourishing of our city.”

The Huffington Post reports that Estle and others continued their support of the Islamic community, holding an interfaith solidarity rally at the ICC on June 1.

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