An interfaith candelight prayer vigil was held Thursday evening for
executed American hostage Jack Hensley.
About 250 people attended the service held on the square in Marietta.
Hensley's family was not in attendance. They are expected to attend a
service scheduled for this Saturday.
The leaders of the First Baptist church and the leaders of the Masjid
al-Hedayah mosque in Marietta, Ga., worked together to organize the prayer
"We have been diminished by his death," said the Rev. Jerry Gladson of
First Christian Church of Marietta during the service. "But, his life and
his death have enhanced our own lives."
"We are gathered here as brothers and sisters, condemning in the strongest
possible sense the barbaric execution of Jack Hensley and Eugene
Armstrong," said Soumaya Khalifi, of the Atlanta chapter of the Islamic
Speakers Bureau. "We pray to our creator to give the Hensley family
patience and we also pray for peace in the world."
"It's too close to home. Jack Hensley lived right here in Marietta [and]
his daughter goes to school in the same school as my daughter goes," said
Amjad Taufique of the mosque.
Taufique called upon his friend, Greg DeLoach, the senior pastor of the
First Baptist church in Marietta to organize the service.
"We think that as one family has had a very grievous event in their life we
hurt with them. We think one of the things that we do best is that we can
pray for one another, we can remember for one another, and support one
another," DeLoach said.
"We have to do something, we have to have something to recognize the
tragedy that has happened in our community and offer our condolences and
prayers for the family," Taufique said.
Members of the Muslim community said they wanted to publicly condemn the
hostage-taking and killings in Iraq. They said such acts were a betrayal of
"This is not who we are. This is what is being said and done in our name,
but this is not who we are. This is something we condemn," Taufique said