Hundreds Gather at Oakland Church for Peace Rally and Prayer | NBC Bay Area
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Hundreds Gather at Oakland Church for Peace Rally and Prayer

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    Hundreds of people gathered in Oakland on Tuesday night to address the rampant problem of violent crime by bowing their heads in prayer. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016)

    Hundreds of people gathered at an Oakland church on Tuesday night to address the rampant problem of violent crime by bowing their heads in prayer.

    People of different faiths have prayed for peace together before in the Bay Area but Tuesday's summit brought people from all over the world who study religion.

    Peace was the common thread at Cathedral of Christ the Light Catholic Church in Oakland.

    "In my experience, interfaith dialogue is very important," said Dr. Musdah Mulia. "To make people understand even if they have different faith and cultures, we are all the same."

    Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan was in attendance.

    "Fighting crime takes more than prayers, but the unity of the community to build a peaceful future is an important contributing factor," Kaplan said.

    That very factor is what Florence McCrary has been praying for.

    "My son was raised in a house of prayer," said McCrary, whose 22-year-old son Terrence was shot and killed last month after leaving a birthday party in downtown Oakland.

    The shooter is still at-large.

    McCrary came to the summit looking for comfort and answers to violence in communities.

    "We first have to recognize we have a problem and address it head on, and it's systemic," she said.

    Those who believe in prayer are hoping an interfaith dialogue will bring answers to those who've seen friends and loved ones killed by senseless acts.

    "These children, they're having to witness crimes in the street where they live," McCrary said. "When is enough enough?"

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