Faith leaders’ concerted effort to reach families, friends of young people

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Dozens of faith leaders in the city are infusing their messages this Sunday with lifesaving advice they hope will disrupt the surging violence.

"We've got to do something to reduce this violence or we're on record pace for some numbers that we have never seen in the history of this city," Elder David Coatie of Christ Church Apostolic said.

Around 50 congregations across Marion County plan to share crime data and the impact it is having on the community. A couple of those churches include Christ Church Apostolic, Barnes United Methodist Church, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and Fervent Prayer Church.

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"I want to talk about illegal guns," Coatie said. "The house I grew up in, we had no privacy. My mom said, "you get to stay here, it's my house." So, she could go anywhere in the house and look through all your stuff. It would shock you how many parents don't know what their kids have in their homes."

Pastor Ronald Covington Sr. of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church urges people to understand the magnitude of what happened on Wednesday night regarding the murders of four young adults.

"They need to really see numbers and how it is affecting our community," Covington Sr. said. "It makes a difference when you can see it."

The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police reports 238 people shot or stabbed in the last 90 days. In the first 38 days of 2020, the FOP reports 24 people have been killed.

"The winner goes to prison, the loser goes to the graveyard," Coatie said. "So there are no winners in the equation."

Covington said this cannot be the new normal. He hopes the messages preached Sunday regarding conflict resolution will make a big impact on this city.

"When we get to the point where things like this doesn't bother us, we're gone, we're finished as a society," Covington warned.

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