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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A tragedy hundreds of miles away brought members of a Northwest Miami-Dade congregation together in prayer for the nine lives lost in a senseless act of violence at a church in South Carolina.

“We shouldn’t have to come to church and worry that someone is going to shoot us and kill us, even in the house of God.  So we’re praying for our country,” said New Birth Baptist Church Bishop Victor T. Curry.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, was among those in attendance at New Birth Baptist Church.

She asked churches in South Florida to join in simultaneous prayer for the victims and their families, but she also wants action taken so this never happens again.

“I didn’t know that hate was so deep in this nation and I’m afraid.  I’m afraid because that young man did not emerge from his mother’s womb hating.  He was taught to hate,” said Wilson.

“We can’t pretend that racism doesn’t exist, because it does,” said Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan.  “We need to fight it head on.  We need to talk about it head on.”

Demonstrations were held in South Carolina’s State House Saturday to remove the Confederate flag from flying on its grounds. An earlier photo of the admitted gunman, Dylann Roof, shows him waving the controversial flag.

A racist rant was found on a website, which the FBI is now trying to determine if it was written by Roof.

“When I look at the news and I look at the confederate flag on top of the capital, it only reminds me of the fact that he sees that symbol every day, that symbol of segregation, that symbol of slavery, that symbol that represents hatred,” said Jordan.

And to keep this from happening again, Curry says everyone must do their part to come up with a solution.

“It’s going to take African American clergy, white clergy, Hispanic clergy, we all have to come together,” said Curry.


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