Interfaith leaders re-imagine Trump’s photo

trump's photo

As the clock struck 12 pm, last Sunday Wellington’s religious communities stood together in solidarity, re-imagining President Donald Trump’s photo opportunity with a Bible.

Interfaith leaders gathered on the steps of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Wellington to hold their Bibles and other sacred texts for a photo opportunity.

But this was a photo of a very different kind to the one in which Trump held up a Bible on the steps of an Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

The US President had stood in front of Washington’s St John’s Episcopal Church clutching an upside-down copy of the Bible amongst a backdrop of anger over the death of black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.

World media has widely reported the angry response to Trump’s photo, which came after law enforcement teams used violent tactics against peaceful protesters in order to clear the way for the President to walk to the church.

In response, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Very Rev. David Rowe, felt it was time to re-imagine Trump’s photo through the lenses of peace, love and solidarity.

He invited interfaith and cultural leaders to stand on the steps of the Cathedral, holding their sacred texts, to model a more positive alternative.

Members of the Sikh, Muslim, Baha’i, Jewish, Protestant and Catholic communities were among those in attendance.

Some members of the group held signs saying Love your neighbour, and Aroha ki tou hoa tata.

“We wanted to just say ‘there is another way, a peaceful way,’ and to express our unity and working together for the common good,” Rowe said.


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