Chicago’s religious community took a stand against gun violence on Saturday as several congregations marched in downtown Chicago and gathered in Millennium Park, offering a united front against the ongoing epidemic.
Members of many churches marched along Michigan Avenue, doing what they can to help city leaders and police combat one of the city’s most pressing problems.
“I’m heartbroken, and that’s why I’m here because I’m a Chicago native, I love this city,” said Pastor Michael Eaddy of the Harvest People’s Church.
Gun violence is a complicated issue for Chicago, and religious leaders say it cannot be resolved alone.
“We need the city, we need the police, we need the religious community, we need the religious community, we need the schools involved,” said Michael Allen, co-founder of Together Chicago.
Attendees say the event is not just about ending gun violence and pushing for security, but also about encouraging unity and involving people across the city.
“We have to work together to put out this fire, because that’s what’s needed,” Allen said. “Gun violence is like a wildfire that is spreading through our city, across our nation, and we need everyone involved to put out this fire of gun violence, it’s crazy.”
The City of Chicago released a security plan ahead of Memorial Day weekend that included increasing the number of police officers downtown, on CTA trains and in neighborhoods, as well as changing the citywide curfew to minors from 11pm to 10pm.
Regardless of neighborhood, religion or race, religious leaders are calling people to unite and save lives.
“We believe our presence here will make an impact,” Eaddy said.