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Faith Leaders, Celebs: Only God Can Heal Baltimore


The eyes of the nation have been on Baltimore following the April 19 death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old died of a spinal injury while in police custody.

In response, frustrated protesters took to the streets, demanding answers.

Dozens of police cars and buildings were burned. Protesters also threw bricks at police. Twenty officers were injured, including six seriously. More than 200 people were arrested and a citywide curfew went into effect at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Now local clergy are responding to the riots with a prayer vigil scheduled for May 7.

Many influential Christian leaders are also weighing in on the situation, taking to social media to offer prayers and healing for the city.

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson's Facebook post about the unrest in Baltimore went viral. He said the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to racial reconcilatilon and healing.

"The response we are watching is just 'smoke' from years of hopelessness," he writes. "After each situation the more I am convinced that the love of God for our fellow brothers and sisters who were created in His image is our only hope for reconciliation."

Samaritan's Purse's Franklin Graham also took to Facebook.

"My heart goes out to the people of Baltimore," he posted. "Hurt compounding hurt won't bring healing."

"What happened to Freddie Gray was tragic, unacceptable, and needs immediate correction," he continued. "But what is happening now on the streets of Baltimore isn't the answer."

"Join me in praying for the people of this great city," Graham said.

Hip-hop artist Lecrae tweeted a picture of a little black boy handing a white police officer a bottle of water with the words, "Love sails on the deepest sea of hatred."

And former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is also speaking out.

In a two-minute video posted on his Facebook page Tuesday, Lewis passionately asked the people of Baltimore to stop the destruction of the city.

Meanwhile, contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary is encouraging believers to fast and pray for the city's healing.

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