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Indiana Faith Leaders Say Unfair Redistricting Is 'Sin'

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana faith leaders say that Republican lawmakers drawing unfair legislative maps would be "sin." Gerrymandering, they argue, is "political and theological idolatry."

Leaders in Indiana Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith communities gathered at the Statehouse to make a plea to legislators.

Rev. Patrick Burke, from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, didn't mince words. Indiana’s current political system, he said, is "egregious and completely unjust."

"If we don’t redraw these maps to be equitable, none of the injustices that we see in our system are ever going to change," Burke said.

READ MORE: Redistricting 101: Who Draws Indiana's Legislative District Maps, And How

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Burke and his fellow faith leaders said they want new legislative district maps that encourage voting and competitive races.

Imam Michael Saahir from the Nur-Allah Islamic Center in Indianapolis said any effort to draw unfair maps is "an act against the will of our creator."

"As people of faith, we must protect the sacredness of the voice and vote of every Hoosier," Saahir said.

Lawmakers return to the Statehouse to draw new districts in the coming weeks.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.