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Christians called to pray and bring hope to riot-affected communities

Christian leaders continue to appeal for peace in the wake of further riots in the capital anYouths gathering for riots in Wolverhampton - Pic by Pete Hopperd spreading violence across the UK. They have called for urgent prayer for the cities and communities affected by riots and for a swift end to the chaos. Christian groups are urging believers, across the capital and the whole country, to pray wherever they are.
 
However, in the face of extreme violence, copycat crime, looting and fear, there have been scenes during the day which demonstrate community spirit and positivity, as volunteers turn up with brushes, gloves and shovels to be part of the riot clean ups in London and Birmingham. Local people are coming together to clean up their streets, make tea and give thanks to police and fire Brigades and reclaim the streets following violence and looting. A real sense of community spirit, standing up to the crimes.

 

Roy Crowne, Director of HOPE said: “Many of these rioting teenagers and young people desperately need hope and a purpose. This can only be found in Jesus. We know that we have a powerful God and that prayer can change situations. Let’s pray and be the ones who respond, act, persevere and never give up on our villages, towns and cities. What is happening in response with the clean ups is brilliant and the Church is playing its part. Now is the time to share love with people and pull together to restore hope in damaged communities.”

 
Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance and Chair of HOPE said: “The arson, looting, violence and vandalism being carried out is both shocking and unacceptable. Communities are being ransacked, neighbours are losing their livelihoods and lives are being put at risk. Against such as background the Church is already taking immediate action. Christians are present on the street and participating in the clear-up, by offering encouragement and support to the emergency services and their neighbours while praying for peace”.
 
A 24/7 Prayer video asked people to pray for those affected, for the police but also to remember the Pastors and church members who are ministering to people at this time. The Church of England has also issued a prayer for peace. Churches in various parts of the capital have been opening their doors and welcoming people in to pray and have time for reflection.
 
 Riot police in Wolverhampton - Pic by Pete Hopper
 

Lucy Cooper, 09/08/2011



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