Praying for peace in Indianapolis
As we approach the Easter weekend, some local churches are using this time to stand in unity praying for peace.
For months, Indianapolis Metro Police Chief Rick Hite and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs have been calling on the churches in the city to get more involved in the communities to help target crime at its root.
At noon, there was a strong showing of unity by church leaders from many churches of all faiths that they are rising up and joining as one to pray for peace. They gathered at the Indiana War Memorial to pray.
"I think a lot of people are just fed up. We wake up in the morning and we find out that someone else has been shot, another child has been injured," said Biannca Yates, an Indianapolis resident.
In 2013, Indianapolis recorded its highest murder rate in seven years and based on early estimates, the city is on pace for even more this year.
Most recently, Indianapolis Metro Police recorded ten shootings in a three-day period earlier this month.
"Violence does not discriminate. We are all victims. We are all part of the same community," said Rabbi Brett Krichiver, referring to the Kansas City shootings at a Jewish Community Center.
Rev. David Hampton with Light of the World Christian Church says he believes it's the church's responsibility to go beyond the four walls and help to improve the community the churches serve. That's what he and many other local pastors hope to accomplish today.
"Jesus in John 13:34 said to love one another as I have loved you. So we want to use that as a way to unify our city and to also demonstrate there is unity among our leadership. If there is no model of unity among our leadership, how can we expect young people and those committing violence to see a need for unity?" said Reverend David Hampton, Pastor of Light of the World Christian Church.
"We feel like the church's mandate to minister must go beyond the four walls. If we're going to be a church of the community then we need to be a church that's for the community, not just preaching to the choir. We see our mandate as going out and helping to improve the community that we serve," said Hampton.
Light of the World Church, along with St. Luke's United Methodist Church, have invited ministers, clergy, rabbis from numerous faiths and denominations - Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Catholic. The list is long and they also invite members of the community to stand with them, united as one.