BOSTON – In the wake of the Charleston church shooting, dozens came together to pray, to heal and to talk about intolerance at the Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain.
“This is definitely a race issue, but this isn’t just the black community’s problem; this is everyone’s problem and I don’t really know what to do other than start a conversation,” said Casey Carey-Brown of Jamaica Plain.
“I don’t know that it’s unspeakable. It’s racism and it’s terrorism on some level. And it was done in the name of race, it sounds like. To speak about it actually is the challenge,” said Vicar Eric Worringer of St. Paul Lutheran in Arlington.
Many religions, races and ages were well represented at the prayer vigil Thursday evening.
“This isn’t a black issue, this isn’t a white issue. Ya, there could be race issues here. This is a criminal issue. What was done was wrong,” said George Thomas of the Pequot Tribe.
“I feel really sorry for these people who died in this shooting and I came here to pray,” said 8-year-old Alexander Hayes.
“This place is so sacred. How can you come into the house of the God and do that. I felt so safe, and now so violated,” said Cindi Walker of Randolph.
Mayor Marty Walsh promised an added police presence at Boston churches over the weekend. Several officers were stationed outside Bethel AME throughout the vigil.