PHOTOS: Religious leaders rally to end gun violence


Religious leaders from around the region today gathered at the former site of Pennsylvania Hall to call for an end to gun violence – but they weren’t advocating for prayer alone.

“We call on our congregation to take direct action, to put their feet to the faith,” said Rev. James McIntire of Heeding God’s Call, a grassroots interfaith coalition organized that stages regular vigils outside gun stores they say sell to straw purchasers. “Something to direct them out of their pews and into the community.”

Attendees were asked to sign a pledge to not only support the victims of gun violence and to keep the issue at the forefront of their community, but to do everything possible as individuals to bring that violence to an end.

“We chose this location to hold this rally and this press conference because it’s on the site of what was Pennsylvania Hall, a hall built to end slavery,” McIntire said. “On this site in 1838, religious leaders gathered to take a public stance against slavery, and it was that public stance that eventually led to abolition. I believe we can take a public stance against gun violence and end it now.”

The interfaith rally was attended by representatives of Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths, who drew parallels between the shooting deaths in Newtown and those that happen here in Philadelphia on a near daily basis.

“We express our profound grief at the loss of so many lives in Newtown, Connecticut,” said Rev. Lucy Rupe of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. “Our Philadelphia community knows too well the tragedy. Well over 320 of our neighbors here lost their lives in our neighborhoods during this epidemic.”

One of the common themes the speakers endorsed was the importance of presenting a united front moving forward.

“We must all come together as one people finally in this country to stop this violence,” said activist Bilal Qayyum, who warned that the community must stand together in the face of an impending NRA backlash against gun control legislation planned in the tragedy’s wake. “I’m standing here not only for the 20 white kids killed in Connecticut, but for the 20 black kids killed in Philadelphia.”


Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…


Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…


Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…


Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.


'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version


Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.


MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind


Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.


This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…


This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…


Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.