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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Faith leaders pray, fast to curb violence

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There’s a lot of ideas on how to curb violent crime in Indianapolis. Among them, changing the budget for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), creating grassroots organizations and getting children into after-school programs.

Local faith leaders say we need a divine intervention.

At a gathering on Monument Circle on Aug. 5, a handful of pastors led by Pastor Clyde Posley of Antioch Baptist Church, shared prayers for Indianapolis and announced a seven-week fast. Posley said while policing and grassroots efforts are important, prayer has to be at the helm of any anti-violence work.

“This is not meant to replace the efforts of the police or the mayor,” Posley said. “… Making Indianapolis a safer place will require God to help us tackle the evil forces in our city.”

Last year, Indianapolis had a record number of homicides, with 214 people being killed. As of Aug. 5, 2021, there have been 160 people killed in the city.

Throughout the fast, which requires those physically able to fast every Thursday for 24 hours, Posley asked participants to pray for five things:

  • The power of God to cast out/release the city from the evil spiritual forces perpetuating gun violence and violent crime in Indy
  • Unity among city leaders, faith leaders, IMPD and elected officials in the ongoing battle for a safer Indianapolis
  • Wisdom to implement the specific violence reduction programs and approaches that are most effective
  • A resurgence of public confidence in God and His voice throughout Indy
  • Restoration of Godly family structure/values/principles and community commitment to youth and next generation development

Greg Ware, founder of Grace Relations at the College of Biblical Studies, said this season of fasting and prayer is a call for unity among Indianapolis residents and pleaded with Hoosiers to “cry out to God” and ask for direction.

“Tell us what you want us to do,” Ware said in a prayer. “ … We’re weak, we’re confused. We need a divine intervention.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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