Controversy Over Participation in Interfaith Service

July 12, 2002

Source: The New York Post

On July 12, 2002, The New York Post reported that the "Lutheran minister suspended for taking part in an interfaith prayer service for families of Sept. 11 victims said yesterday that he had no regrets... 'I feel that I've acted with integrity,' said the Rev. David Benke, pastor of Brooklyn's St. Peter's Lutheran Church, standing in front of the church as supporters spoke inside... Benke, who is also president of the church's Atlantic Division, was suspended after 21 pastors and three congregations filed complaints against him after he prayed with Muslim, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh representatives at the televised Yankee Stadium event on Sept. 23... If Benke loses his appeal, he will be ousted from the ministry, according to church officials."