100 Religious Leaders Release Statement of Solidarity with Kanaka

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Richard Salvador delivers statement to Gov David Ige’s office, July 19, 2019. Courtesy photo

The Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center and others created a statement in light of the recent Thirty Meter Telescope protests and arrests atop Mauna Kea—the 100 Religious Leaders Statement of Solidarity —and delivered it to Gov. David Ige on the morning of Friday, July 19, 2019.

The statement (see below) was also distributed to other State of Hawai‘i officials, and through the media to county officials and agencies, and the University of Hawai‘i.

It will also be transmitted through social media and religious news to local, national, and global social justice networks and news.

The group’s letter statement is the result of two days of discussions, organizing, mobilization and collaborations.

The statement of solidarity campaign began on July 17, the morning 33 kūpuna (elders) were arrested in an act of civil disobedience protecting Mauna Kea.


In the two days following the gatherings at Mauna Kea, gatherings have taken place on all of Hawai‘i’s islands, and from Alaska to Maine.

This statement of solidarity was “born to give prayers, voice, and support to Kanaka Maoli protecting Sacred Mauna Kea.”

The 100 Religious Leaders in Solidarity are individuals representing themselves, and the organizations listed are for affiliation purposes only. Some of these religious organizations are beginning to discuss and develop organizational statements and positions of their own, and educational resources, strategies and actions.

The 100 religious leaders in the statement include leadership in the Hawaii District of the United Methodist Church, and Resident Bishop of Los Angeles, leaders in the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches, and the Hawaii Conference of the United Churches of Christ, The Episcopal Church of Hawaii, and the Indigenous Ministries Missioner, and members of the Indigenous Ministries of the Episcopal Church, and the Hawaii Pacific Islands and Asian American Ministries of the United Churches of Christ.

This campaign was coordinated by the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, but all the religious leaders support to the campaign, which they say is just beginning.


“This solidarity campaign will be committed to giving voice and support to Kanaka Maoli and Sacred Mauna Kea, until the day of justice, healing and harmony,” the group’s press release said.

This Solidarity Campaign will officially begin today in the public and media setting and continue to reach out to other religious leaders to promote support and solidarity with prayers and actions with the Kapu Aloha Protectors of Sacred Mauna Kea.

The work of justice, nonviolence and reconciliation is a work that all must do together, said Kahu Patterson. “All Religious Leaders and organizations are invited to sign on to the Statement of Solidarity, and to learn more about ways to be in support and solidarity.

Supporters are asked to contact Kahu Patterson (808) 330-3769 or via email at [email protected].



Religious Leaders Statement of Solidarity with Kanaka Maoli Protecting Sacred Mauna Kea

WE who live in the Hawaiian Islands and call them home are challenged today and in the future to care for them so that those of Hawaiian ancestry as well as those of us who have affection for this special place continue to serve and care for the land and her people with authenticity and integrity.

The current test that we face for both the preservation and future use of Mauna Kea is but the latest of many that force us to take sides. To many, the choices seem insurmountable which is why we who lead and stand with our communities of faith must stand tall (Ku Kanaka) and provide the light of insight that will bring about peace and resolution to the stalemate of interests that present themselves on today on the Sacred Mountain.

Mauna Kea is a sacred space. It is wao akua—place of the gods, it is the mountain of God. It is understood asthe genesis point of the Hawaiian people, where sky father Wakea met with earth mother Papahanaumoku.

The controversy surrounding the TMT telescope continues to highlight the struggle of native peoples to protect and preserve their sacred sites from desecration.

We the undersigned have a responsibility not to stay silent in the face of injustice. We are not against science or scientific research. But it should be done in an appropriate location.

Building one more gigantic telescope on our sacred mountain might harm the natural environment, and the spiritual integrity. In light of recent arrest of kupuna, in the act of peaceful civil disobedience, the questionable telescope project is certainly harming the deep peace of our Hawaiian community!

Some may disagree, but we believe the mountain belongs to the Kanaka maoli. It is part of their homeland.

And they must have a say about what to do and what not to do on their sacred land! We offer our prayers in solidarity with all our kanaka maoli sisters and brothers who feel oppressed, bullied, and not listened to.

We pray for a deeper understanding of this very important issue. We pray for the people who insist to build in the midst of the loud outcry & the deep pain of our Kanaka maoli community. We pray for ourselves and all religious people and organizations to take action and join with others to right the wrongs.

We the undersigned religious leaders express ourselves in these words, speaking truth to power during these difficult days!

Religious Leaders in Solidarity

(Religious organizations listed after names only for affiliation)
UMC – United Methodist Church
UCC – United Churches of Christ
TECH – The Episcopal Church Hawaii
AHEC – Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches
PAAM – Pacific Islands and Asian American Ministries

1. Dr. Kahu Kaleo Patterson, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
2. Dr. Kahu Haaheo Guanson, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
3. Richard Salvador, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
4. Annette Mehana Keaoloha Unten, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
5. Kent Kaahanui, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
6. David Hagino, Native Hawaiian Church
7. Rev Dr. John Floberg, Standing Rock North Dakota TEC
8. Bishop Grant J. Hagiya, Resident Bishop of the Los Angeles area, United Methodist Church
9. Rev. Dr. Se Hee Han, Hawaii District, United Methodist Church
10.JoAnn Yoon Fukumoto, Justice and Compassion Chair, Hawaii District, and Trinity UMC
11.Francis Fukumoto, Trinity UMC
12.Kahu David K. Kaupu, Kahu Emeritus Bishop Memorial Chapel & Kaumakapili Church UCC
13.Rev. Arch Deacon Steve Costa, TECH
14.Rev. Dr. Bradley Hauff, Missioner, Indigenous Ministries, TEC
15.Ronald R. Braman, Chair, Province VIII Indigenous Ministries TEC
16.Reverend Canon Randolf V.N. Albano, TECH
17.Roth Puahala and Ohana and Kamaliʻi, Spiritual and Cultural Leader
18.Dr. Manuwai Peters, UCC
19.Leon Siu, Director, Christian Voice of Hawaii
20.Dr. Dawn Morais, Catholic and St. Elizabeth TECH
21.Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen, AHEC/UCC
22.Walter Wong Yuen, AHEC/UCC
23.Rev. David K. Popham
24.Kahu David Turner, Church of the Crossroads UCC
25.Dr. Kahu Doug Wooten, Kaumakapili Church AHEC/UCC
26.Kumu Coline Aiu, Halau Hula O Maiki and Ahahui Kaiulani
27.Reverend Canon Brian J. Grieves, TEC
28.Kahu Rennie Mau, Hawaii Pacific Islands and Asian American Ministries UCC
29.Maile Baird, Koolau Hui Ia Church, AHEC/UCC
30.Barbara Vlachos, President, Iolani Guild, TECH
31.Edward Akana, Alii Noeauloa, Lady of Peace Cathedral
32.Kahu Violet Makuakane, AHEC/UCC
33.Norman Kaleomokuokanalu Chock UCC
34.Manu Naeole AHEC/UCC
35.Kahu Alpha Goto UMC
Sacred Mauna Kea 2
36.Kumu Hula Leihiʻilani Kirkpatrick
37.Wyren Keoki Kiwaha, Chair, Justice and Witness, Hawaii Conference UCC
38.Julia Estrella, Hawaii Pacific Islands Asian American Ministries
39. Rev. Piula Alailima, Wesley United Methodist Church
40.Fr. David Gierlach, Rector, St. Elizabeth TECH, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker
41.Wally Inglis, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
42.Mary Inglis, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
43.Barbara D. Bennett, TSSF, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
44.David Catron, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
45.Niambi Mercado, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
46.Dawn Webster, Wallyhouse Francisan Catholic Worker Community
47.Kahu John A. Hauʻoli Tomoso, Episcopal Priest and Social Worker MSW, TECH
48.Fr. Raymond Woo, Vicar, St. Lukeʻs TECH
49.Meleana Meyers, St. Clementʻs TECH
50.Rev. Dr. Bradley Hauff, Missoner, Indigenous Ministries, TECH
51.Rev Prof. Greg Johnson, TECH
52.Kerisa Carmelo, AHEC & UCC
53.Lorna Bufil, AHEC & UCC
54.Kahu Charles Kaupiko, Hauʻoli Kamanao Church AHEC & UCC
55.Kahu Melveen Kaupiko, Hauʻoli Kamanao Church AHEC & UCC
56.Kekai Perry, St. Stephenʻs TECH
57.Kauanoe Hoomanawanui, Koolau Huiia Protestant Church, AHEC & UCC
58.Anela Rosa, Waiola AHEC/UCC
59.Pete Doktor
60.Sensei Molly, True Mountain Sanga
61.Ron Fujiyoshi, Hawaii Pacific Islands Asian American Ministries UCC
62.Connie Gordan, Indigenous Ministries, TEC
63.David Thomson, Indigenous Ministries, TEC
64.Patty Takahashi, Nativer Hawaiian Church
65.Cheryl Hiipoi Ho, Church of the Crossroads
66.Matt Tautafete, The First Lapp UMC
67.Bude Van Dyke, Church of the Good Shepherd and Indigenous Ministries, TEC
68.Angie Warren, Kalapana Maunakea Church AHEC/UCC
69.Kahu Michael Maluhia Warren, Senior Pastor, Kalapana Mauna Kea Church AHEC/UCC
70.Kahu Wayne Higa, Kaahumanu Church AHEC/UCC
71.Gloria Pualani Muraki, Lanakila Church AHEC/UCC
72.Laurel Mieko Song Mayeda
73.Rev. Amy Wake, Trinity United Methodist Church
74.Rev. Won-Seok Yuh, Kahaluʻu United Methodist Church
75.Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Kehaunani Hill, UCC
76.Kristen Young
77.Rev. Eric Anderson
Sacred Mauna Kea 3
78.Rev. John Finau, Keolumanu UMC
79.Trenton Baum
80.Gene Ahlo
81.Nicole Yamashita, Native Hawaiian Church
82.Myron Yamashita, Native Hawaiian Church
83.Christopher Mansho, Native Hawaiian Church
84.Cileen Yamashita, Native Hawaiian Church
85.Rev. Sam Domingo UMC
86.Rev. Ongo Viliami Koli, Trinity UMC
87.Rev. Richard Matsushita, UMC
88.Pomai Akiona, St. John the Baptist TECH
89.Loea Akiona, St. John the Baptist TECH
90.Jasmine Akiona, St. John the Baptist TECH
91.Galen Ho, St. John the Baptist TECH
92.Pumehana Ho, St. John the Baptist TECH
93.Jerome L. Uyematsu, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
94.J Kawena Cotterell Uyematsu, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
95.Jordan Makaalanalani Patterson, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
96.Josiah Kekoanui Patterson, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
97.Sha Merirei Onelungel, Progressive Pasifika
98.Kensen Alik, Oahu Berea Evangelical Church
99.Pastor Charles Petras, Oahu Berea Evangelical Church
100. Senni Petras, Oahu Berea Evangelical Church
101. Nathan Kalama, Koolau Hui Ia Church UCC
102. Brother Tom Spring, Marinist
103. Rodney Apana
104. Matthew DeKneff, Trinity UMC
105. Wendy DeKneef, Trinity UMC
106. Others (title, name, and affiliation for identification only)
This 100 Religious Leaders in Solidarity statement will be released to the press and social media;
Governor Ige and State of Hawaii agencies and officials on July 19, 2019.
This Solidarity Statement will be an ongoing campaign! Your support and comments are appreciated.
Kapu Aloha – Mahalo Nui Loa

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