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Christians join prayer march

RALLY: Around 1,000 people turned out to confront the rise in stabbings and shootings among the youth in the capital

UP TO 1,000 Christians recently attended a joint prayer march and walk against youth violence, gangs and gun and knife crime, starting from Tottenham Town Hall to Wood Green High Street and culminating at Ducketts Common in Turnpike Lane, north London.

It was organised by Pastor Nims Obunge, leader of community safety charity Peace Alliance, in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance, Churches Together in England and Street Pastors and Hope.

The march aimed to show the local communities that the church cares about youth crime and violence following fatal stabbings and shootings in north London.

Leaders present at the march included Rev Agu Irukwu, leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rev Yemi Adejeji, head of the One People Commission, and Pastor Celia Apyeagei-Collins.

The marchers sang and prayed while walking through Haringey. They stopped for several minutes outside Vue Cinema on Wood Green High Road to remember Kelvin Odunuyi, the 19-year-old who was shot there in March.

Pastor Nims told the crowd: “Let the violence end now. Peace must come between Wood Green and Tottenham. Blood will not be shed in our streets again. As we stand, we stand in pray and as we stand in faith we shall say, thou shalt not kill.”

Marchers then carried on down the High Street, and knelt on the ground outside the shop- ping centre at the instigation of Rev Agu who invited them to pray for the community and claim the streets for God.

The march culminated at Ducketts Common, opposite Turnpike Lane Tube station, where Pastor Apyeagei-Collins led prayers, and David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, shared a stirring message for the crowd.

“Enough is enough. It has to stop,” he told the crowd. “What type of self-hate enters a young person’s heart to stab another young person two years over 14 times.”

He then encouraged Christians to engage in politics. “I need you folks to be more political. This is a moment to look outward that is why we are on the streets, we need better organisation, we need better parenting, we need better resilience, we need to learn the examples of our ancestors.

“We do not see this behaviour in the continent of Africa...
we do not see this behaviour in the countries we are from, and for this reason enough is enough. It has to stop.”

Further prayer marches about gun and knife crime are planned to take place in Tottenham and Croydon next month.

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