New Life Covenant Church Southeast (NLC) will make a valiant effort to fight the gang epidemic in Chicago’s South Side by holding a prayer gathering this Saturday.
Reverend John Hannah of NLC believes an anti-violence, faith-based event will bring more awareness to the community’s growing violence, DNA Info reported earlier this week.
Last year, the Chicago Tribune reported that the phenomenon known as “black flight” increased significantly in the 2000s, “with blacks seeking the suburbs like never before — as well as places like Georgia, Florida or Texas.” The poor economy, educational opportunities, and safety of Chicago’s South Side have all contributed to this mass exodus.
Former South Side resident Tenisha Bell told the Tribune, “I wouldn’t want [my son] to go to the basketball court. I wouldn’t want him to walk to the corner store. There’s so many things that I’d just be afraid to let him do [if we still lived there].”
— Justin Breen (@justinbreen10) December 26, 2016
NLC estimates that a couple thousand people will attend the church’s second annual “Prayer on the 9,” an event Rev. Hannah and others hope will be a “catalyst for social change in Chicago communities where violence is most prevalent.”
“It’s a call-to-action for the community to pray and gather,” the event’s website states.
Like in previous years, pastor Hannah is asking participants to wear red to represent the blood that has been shed over the years due to gun-related homicides.
— The Trace (@teamtrace) May 14, 2017
For Hannah, the two-mile prayer line will “keep the face of these people in our face” and give individuals an opportunity to celebrate life.
“I believe there is something powerful about a large group of people screaming ‘Enough is enough,’” the pastor told DNA Info.
“You don’t just want to show up at a funeral, I think you need to show up before the funeral.” Hannah added.
The two-mile prayer event will start at 11 a.m., and individuals who have lost a loved one will be asked to step forward and lie down to showcase the “enormity of the violence,” according the DNA Info.
To learn more about the event or to register, visit www.PrayerOnThe9.org.
(H/T: DNA Info)
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