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Trio of religious services pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King portraying his fight against racism.

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Trio of religious services pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King portraying his fight against racism

 

 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
January18, 2010


 

 

The slain civil rights leader, whose birthday is commemorated with a national holiday Monday, was honored in the symbolic trio of religious services organized by the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence.

 

They rode from a mosque to a synagogue to a church in an interfaith celebration of the legacy of the Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

The slain civil rights leader, whose birthday is commemorated with a national holiday Monday, was honored in the symbolic trio of religious services organized by the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence.

"We must build bridges in understanding and find the common ground that brings us together," said Cliff Frazier, the center's executive director, at the first stop of the day, the Islamic Cultural Center on E. 97th St.

Imam Shamsi Ali praised King as a leader who sacrificed his life for others, and called on people of all faiths to carry on his fight against racism.

"We must take this responsibility," Ali said. "We can do it only when we join hands."

A short bus ride down Second Ave. took participants to the Sutton Place Synagogue on E. 51st St., where Rabbi Allan Schranz extolled one of King's great lessons.

"Love is the strongest force imaginable - not hatred, not violence, not 'I'm gonna get even with you,'" Schranz said.

The third and final ceremony to honor King, who was assassinated in 1968, took place at St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Ave.

The Rev. James Forbes, senior minister emeritus of Riverside Church, declared that passage of health care reform would be a cause worthy of King.

People from around the city who participated in the services talked about why King's memory is dear to their hearts.

"He is a pathway to our own humanity, which had been so much denied," said George Lee Miles, an actor who lives in Harlem. "He helped open the doorway."

"Dr. King's issues - economic disparity, unjust wars and racism - continue to confront us," said Barbara Nowell, a retired teacher from Riverdale. "We must confront them."

lcroghan@nydailynews.com

      
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