PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — More than 100 pastors and thousands of members of their congregations flocked to Brooklyn for a peaceful prayer march Tuesday evening.
Representatives of more than 30 different denominations from around the five boroughs and New Jersey came to address not just a social issue, but a theological one.
“So these pastors have all put denominational differences aside and have become one church tonight in Brooklyn,” said Pastor Michael Carrion. To speak peace and prayer for New York City.”
Pastor Justin Mattera from Zion NYC in Bay Ridge said the rally came together after much prayer among several pastors. He said the church needed to be a leading example of how to protest peacefully after several nights of looting.
“The city needs to see that the church cares about this, because God cares about justice and we can’t let the city think that the church is going to be silent during this moment.”
Several participants said they were motivated to join the march after President Trump stood outside a Washington Church while holding up a bible just minutes after firing tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters outside the White House.
“Those of us who treasure the bible as God’s word saw right through what he was doing in just pandering to people who are blind to the deception that he is spinning,” said Matthew Hoskinson of Bensonhurst. “It’s, it’s just maddening.”
The group marched down Fifth Avenue and past the 78th precinct, before gathering outside Barclays Center, hoping to share their message.
“Everything around us has to change,” said Stanley Charles. “The way we think, the way we treat each other.”
With many questioning what tangible steps we can take to move forward from these protests, the pastors say we have a social and spiritual responsibility to show up on election day.
“In scripture we have an individual responsibility for justice and we and exercise our individual responsibility for justice by voting,” said Mattera.