Members of church groups in several Maine towns staged rallies recently to celebrate religious and ethnic diversity in opposition to a white-supremacist rally.
The white group, World Church of the Creator based in Peoria, Ill., planned its gathering after Lewiston mayor Laurier Raymond last October wrote a letter urging the town’s growing Somali community to discourage other Somalis from moving there. The town “is maxed-out financially, physically and emotionally,” he wrote, and called on the Somalis to “exercise discipline.”
A coalition of churches, including Trinity Episcopal in the heart of Lewiston, planned a counter-rally across town to support diversity. Rev. Nancy Moore said she took issue with the name of the white supremacist group. “I want to reclaim the word creator,” she said. “The Creator didn’t create just one colour, just one kind or just one view of the world.” More than 4,200 people gathered at the rally, reciting prayers from various faith traditions and singing civil rights songs.
Across town in Lewiston, the World Church of the Creator rally, attended by 36 people, was held at the local armoury.