Detroit religious leaders issue open letter urging end to water shutoffs

DETROIT (WXYZ) - As the controversy over Detroit water shutoffs continues to heat up, a large group of area religious leaders are raising their voices. Over 70 pastors and others from the area's faith community have come together with an open letter calling for the end to water shutoffs.

The letter, which is posted below, begins with bold words, "In our traditions water is a free grace, part of the great gift that underlies all creation. We drink it as life itself. We wade through it to freedom," it says.

The letter ends with a request to Detroiters and then it reaches out to city workers and politicians.

"To Water workers, we say refuse to cut off your fellow citizens. To the Water Board, we say reverse this inhuman policy: turn their water back on. To the City Council, we say stop compounding this travesty with rate increases and other complicity. Revive and implement the Water Affordability Program. To the Governor we say: cease privatization and call off this action taken under emergency management," the letter says.

Supporters of the letter include bishops, pastors and other religious leaders. Supporters come from all fifty states, say organizers.

One signer of the letter, Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, said, “In our traditions water is a sacred gift, but that understanding is legally embedded in the notion that water is part of the commonwealth, held in public trust, and protected as a human right.”

The spiritual letter ends in a prayer and over the next week the signers plan to hand deliver it.


An Open Letter from Detroit Religious Leaders and Allies

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