We are troubled and deeply saddened by the shootings and tragic loss of life that has occurred in recent days in St. Paul, Minnesota; Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas. We offer our prayers of condolence to the families, loved-ones and communities that are wounded by these too-frequent events.

As Buddhists, we believe that each life is more precious than all the treasures of the universe; and we bear in mind the words of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda who said: “The real struggle of the 21st century will not be between civilizations, nor between religions. It will be between violence and nonviolence. It will be between barbarity and civilization in the truest sense of the word.”

Let us not be defeated by these painful events. Rather, let us continue to work together toward the realization of an America that rejects violence, that unflinchingly addresses its roots and that upholds the dignity and sanctity of every life.