Long-time Christian minister to top government officials in Washington, DC, president of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, and a spokesperson for Prayers & Action, Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck, along with founder and executive director of The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, spokesperson for Prayers & Action and disaster psychologist, Dr. Jamie Aten, released the following statement today after reports of another horrific mass shooting in a house of worship took place early Saturday morning.

While details are still unfolding, news outlets are reporting that at least eight people are dead after a man entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This latest mass shooting comes just days ahead of the one-year mark of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas where 26 people were shot and killed during a church service:

“My heart goes out to all of those impacted and forever changed by today’s despicable act of violence in yet another house of worship. Slaughter and shoot-outs in the sanctuary can’t be the only answers to the terrible gun violence crisis plaguing our nation. The time is now for religious leaders to come together with civic and political authorities to find and enact solutions. Mass shootings cannot become a way of life in America.”

“You may have thought you were just imagining that disasters, including mass shootings, are happening more frequently—but you aren’t. Today’s horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is another reminder that whether we are inside or outside sacred spaces, we have an epidemic that requires leaders of every faith to respond with both prayers and action to ensure these mass shootings come to an END in our country. My heart continues to break for the families and loved ones in Pittsburgh. May God wrap His mighty arms of comfort around them.”