On the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks, neighbors woke up to find shocking images of the burning Twin Towers on their doorsteps and an assertion that the recipient may be going to hell.
Church Rey De Reyes, a Spanish-language Pentecostal church located at 2376 East 15th Street, distributed biblical tracts overnight featuring an image of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames, and the caption, “What if you had been here September 11, 2001? A day that began like any other.”
The pamphlet goes on to suggest that, had you died in the September 11th attacks, you would have gone to hell if you had not accepted Christian beliefs.
Resident Richard R. said he found these pamphlets – called tracts – on his porch on a block near Ocean Avenue and Avenue Z this morning and it made him fume:
I’ve lived in Sheepshead Bay my whole life and this is the first time I can say I hate my neighborhood. This morning I woke up to go to work to find this on my front porch.
Now to be completely honest, I am not a religious man, in fact I identify myself as an atheist, however I am not anti-religion, but the fact that a church would choose to use a National tragedy to grow their congregation truly infuriates me, and in my own backyard no less. I find this absolutely reprehensible, and this church and it’s Reverend should be ashamed of themselves. The pamphlet, so carelessly strewn on Sheepshead bay porches this morning goes on to talk about how we are all sinners, coaxing people into going to church to repent because if they had died on 9/11, they may have gone to hell. This is religious leaders using fear-mongering to attract followers and money into their church, this is an absolute outrage. They are literally trying to profit from the deaths of thousands in an attack on this country, that is not only morally low, but truthfully, its pathetic.
Imagine if this pamphlet, so recklessly left on porches was found by a now teenager who’s parents died in those buildings, is this really the message we want our children coming home to? Ignorant of anyone’s religious beliefs I would hope that logical minds would realize that this pamphlet is just plain wrong and I don’t think our neighborhood needs this.
The tract was not created by the local church, though it does appear to be distributed by them. The pamphlet was produced by the Fellowship Tract League, which produces a number of fire-and-brimstone biblical tracts for Christian organizations around the world. Metadata on the file on their website suggests this particular tract has been published since at least 2009, and they also feature other potentially inflammatory tracts such as one about the certainty of death from AIDS.