Christian ministers voiced calls for healing and forgiveness as memorial services for victims of the Fort Hood shooting went underway on Tuesday.
"We pray for healing for the soldiers and families after this horrific attack," said Rev. Ed Brogan, director of the Presbyterian Council on Chaplains and Military Personnel (PCCMP), in a Nov. 6 statement. "We also join with the American Muslim community in calling for interfaith compassion and support for all of those involved at Fort Hood. This attack must not drive a wedge between loyal Americans."
Brogran also asked for prayers for all American soliders, saying, "Our soldiers are proud and self reliant. Many are also worn down by years of service in war. I ask that all of our congregations look to support military personnel and their families in their communities and pray for those killed on Thursday and also those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan."
On Sunday, churches around the Fort Hood area called their congregations to spirits of understanding and hope.
"We feel betrayed by someone who was supposed to be on our side," said the Rev. Stephen Schmidt of Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove. "It's OK to be angry for now. But we must not let that anger plant within our hearts seeds of hatred."
Father Adam Martinez spoke to a congregation of 400 at St. Joseph Catholic Church saying, "We have a choice between despair and hope, and with hope we have the promise of great things to happen."
During an interfaith service at Fort Hood's 73rd Street Chapel, Chaplain Frank Jackson issued a prayer for the victims of the tragedy, including shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan and his family.
"Lord, we pray for Major Hasan's family as they find themselves in a position that no person ever desires to be in," he said. "We pray for Major Hasan, asking that you would do the work that only you can do in his life."
Twelve American soldiers and one U.S. citizen were killed last Thursday's during an alleged shooting rampage by Hasan, who remains hospitalized from retaliatory fire. Several thousand people are expected to attend Tuesday's memorial services in Fort Hood, including President Obama who will deliver remarks.