Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today following criticism of Dr. Ingrid Mattson’s participation in Wednesday’s National Prayer Service honoring the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President:

“Ingrid Mattson has been a long time friend of Interfaith Alliance and the cause of religious freedom. Under her leadership, ISNA entered into a substantive and meaningful dialogue with the Jewish Community that is unlike anything I have seen before. Exactly one year ago, I was proud to moderate a discussion at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with various prominent faith leaders including Ingrid. She proved to be a vigilant advocate for her community, but one that clearly understands that the best way to pursue that mission is through reaching out to others and changing the paradigm that we have been all to willing to accept in the past.  Rumor and innuendo directed at her are nothing but a distraction from achieving the real change that so many of us are fighting for.  I hope our new president listens carefully to what Ingrid has to say on Wednesday.  He, and I believe all of us, will be better for it.”

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.