Philadelphia faith-based leaders call to end gun violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Faith leaders joined with local law enforcement Saturday with an urgent message regarding the soaring violence on the streets of Philadelphia.

"We have an obligation to get involved in the lives of our young people," said Minister Steven Robinson, who has created the Inter-Faith Social Change Movement. "All of these programs will be ineffective I believe if we don't touch the hearts of the people of Philadelphia."

Their meeting and was held at the Second Baptist Church in Frankford. It was led by Minister Robinson, as well as several other faith-based leaders throughout the city.

Before the service, he said he's encouraging anyone affected by gun violence to reach out and that his doors are open.

Reverend Hezekiah Lamplay, based out of Strawberry Mansion, said the same.

"We have to work a little harder in order to work with these children between the ages of 13-19 years old," said Lamplay.

Father Tom Higgins of Holy Innocents Parish in Juniata is encouraging parish members to reach out to others.

"As I say over and over, the folks who come to church need to reach out to their people who aren't in church," said Higgins.

Pastor Calvin B. Rooks of the Christ Restoration Evangelistic Worship Ministries said, "We want them to be able to feel free to call someone that's on the list, call someone that we have built a relationship with."

One of the leaders said one of the biggest problems right now is mobile devices.

"Look at the music that these kids are listening to, violent music. Look at the people that they talk to. Look at the websites that they're on. The electronic addiction is like heroin to our children," said Abdur Rahman, a former Islamic school principal.

Robinson says they will be meeting at The Second Baptist Church in Frankford every third Saturday of the month.
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