Pastors, youth prayer-walking against gang violence

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Pastors. cultural leaders and community members prayer walking in Bethelsdorp Extension 31 last Sunday in response to gang violence in the northern areas of Nelson Mandela Bay. A youth-led prayer walk in planned to take place from 8.30am on Monday June 17 (Youth Day), from the Gelvandale track to Cleary Park Shopping Centre.

Pastors, cultural leaders and community members took part in a prayer walk in Bethelsdorp Extension 31 last Sunday to take a stand against deadly gang violence in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas.

The event, which is to be followed by a youth-led prayer walk along Standford Road from the Gelvandale track to Cleary Park Shopping Centre on Monday June 17 (Youth Day), was organised by some cultural leaders who were joined by like-minded pastors, said Pastor Reuben Africa.

He said an all-time low occurred in the northern areas three weeks ago when 10 people died in gang violence during one weekend.

“Different groups responded [to the prayer walk]. We, as pastors prayed over the communities while walking the streets where some killings occurred. People were very appreciative that the Church was reaching out in this way,” he said.

He said some pastors and church leaders who participated in an Ascension Day celebration in front of the City Hall on May 30, were organising Monday’s youth-led prayer walk, which will start at the Gelvandale track at 8.30am.

“We are mobilising youth groups, churches, worship teams and the general public.

“The objective of the march is to create awareness of the killings, violence and genocide happening in the northern areas. We also want to pray God’s protection and blessing over our communities and especially over our young people.

“Young people will also be requested to lead us in prayer. They are under threat and together we want to secure a better future for them.

“The event will acknowledge the important role that young people play in society. We can no longer be silent while many of them perish. We will continue until our voices are heard and our streets are safe again,” said Pastor Africa.

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