Metro Detroit religious leaders unite against Charlottesville racism

- The images were horrifying -a group of white nationalists marching through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Clashes erupted between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters leaving one woman dead.

In metro Detroit a group of clergy members gathered to condemn hate and promote a message of equality, harmony and peace.

"We as men and women of God today cannot be silent," said Rev. Edgar Vann, Second Ebeneezer Church. "We are under a divine mandate; we have a spiritual to stand. Faith leaders are called to rise about racism."

Clergy members from all over metro Detroit gathered Friday morning at Plymouth United Church on the city's east side, standing in solidarity and condemning the recent racial violence that occurred at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

Thirty-two year-old Heather Heyer was killed and several others were seriously injured.

"I stand here in opposition to the president's words this last week to white supremacists that showed up in Charlottesville," said Rev. Greg Larsen, First Congregational Church, Rochester. "I stand here acknowledging my own white privilege, and that resource that has helped me become who I am today. I stand here acknowledging systemic racism is embedded in our laws in the United States of America and these must be dismantled."

Clergy members spread the message that racism, hate and bigotry will not be tolerated.

"We come together today to continue to work together to know God better to continue to work together to live fully in love and to reject hate," said Rev. Sarah Godbehere, Grosse Pointe Memorial Presbyterian church. "This is work we can't do alone. It is work we can only do this together."

They also had a powerful message to those who support racism and bigotry.

"God is love and so we will continue to love you until you change," said Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill, Plymouth United Church of Christ. "We are all God's children."

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