Interfaith community leaders come together to help people evacuated from Afghanistan

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Religious leaders from different faiths are teaming up to help evacuees from Afghanistan, as part of a special 9/11 program aimed at building and mending bridges.

"Even if we don't believe the same, we made a commitment that we would love the same," said Kevin Brown, a pastor with the Perfecting Church in Sewell, New Jersey. He is also a member of the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network, working with other leaders who are Jewish and Muslim.

"Our neighbor is just not the one who believes like us, votes like us, worships like us or even looks like us. Our neighbor is the person near us in particular the one who is in need."

As part of that commitment, the religious leaders are collecting and donating toiletries and supplies to Afghan evacuees. They're bringing those items to a local mosque for their 9/11 day of service.

"When 9/11 comes, it's just an oppertunity to really show and affirm what we believe all three of our faiths say," Pastor Brown said. "In some shape form or fashion, all three of our holy books encourage us to love our neighbor."

Pastor Brown says this will not be there last battle in their fight against Islamaphobia.

"We've got a large community of refugees right up here in Fort Dix, New Jersey and we intend on continuing to look for opportunities with the coalition of other local churches in our area to reach out to them," he said.

"Show them that Islamophobic sentiments is not the norm for most Christians."

Churches with the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network, a national organization, have raised more than $125,000 to help the Afghan evacuees.