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As the news of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday continues to travel far and wide, faith leaders across the nation are sharing their reactions, prayers, words and insights with Fox News Digital.
They’re also calling out moral rot when they see it.
A suspected lone gunman took the lives of 18 children and one teacher; the gunman has been killed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Tuesday.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” the governor said in a statement. “Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss … We urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering.”
TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: LIVE UPDATES
The shooting on Tuesday was the deadliest shooting at an elementary school since Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
Fox News Digital reached out to an array of faith leaders for comment.
Here is what those leaders shared with Fox News Digital — and, in some cases, what they wrote on social media to their followers.
‘The little children that died are in heaven, safely in the arms of Jesus’
Pastor Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday evening, “The heart of America was ripped out this sad day. This was an act of pure evil — and innocent children paid the ultimate price. Our hearts ache for their families.”
“The heart of America was ripped out on this sad day.”
He also said, “As a father who lost a son 14 years ago, I found the strength to go on through my relationship with Christ.”
He added, “I believe the little children that died are in heaven, safely in the arms of Jesus.”
“Let’s all pray,” Pastor Laurie added, “for their families that God comforts them with the special comfort only he can give.”
‘America is in a very dark place morally’
Walker Wildmon, vice president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, MIssissippi, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday night in an emailed message, “Today’s tragedy in Texas reminds each of us that we live in a world where evil exists and at times evil seems to prevail.”
America “is in desperate need of God to intervene and transform hearts and minds across this land.”
“America is in a very dark place morally,” he said — “and in desperate need of God to intervene and transform hearts and minds across this land.”
“We must turn from our wicked ways and acknowledge Him.”
“May God comfort the grieving families that needlessly lost children and loved ones today,” he added — “and may we work each day to prevent evil wherever it shows itself.”
Lucas Miles, pastor at Nfluence Church in South Bend, Indiana, and a faculty speaker at Summit Ministries (summit.org), told Fox News Digital in an email on Tuesday night, “To the families devastated by this unbelievable loss, we grieve with you and we pray that the spirit of God would grant you a peace that surpasses understanding.”
“Today’s events are a symptom of our broken culture.”
He added, “To the rest of America, I pray that we would realize that today’s events are a symptom of our broken culture. As people of faith, we recognize that we are part of the solution.”
“May God give us eyes to see the hurting, the forgotten, the lost, before it is too late; before tragedy strikes. I’m reminded of Jesus’ commission to his disciples, to seek and save the lost. Today, 2000 years later, this mission is no less important.”
Pastor Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia, wrote on Twitter, “Praying for God to comfort the families today who have been affected by this senseless tragedy.”
Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, wrote on Twitter, “Weep with those who weep.”
“The deadly shooting in Uvalde puts on our knees. May the Gold of all comfort be near to the broken-hearted.”
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And Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, “Join me in praying for these devastated families & their community.”
“May God help and sustain them as only He can.”