Left: One Government Center, the site of Saturday's neo-Nazi rally; photo by historymike
(Toledo, OH) The arrival of the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement (NSM) on Saturday December 10 has led a coalition of religious and community groups to schedule a prayer vigil on Friday evening.
The event will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in front of One Government Center, the site of the neo-Nazi rally. The group hopes that prayer will “consecrate” the building and the citizens of the city.
Pastor Mansour Bey of the First Church of God said that the group hopes to counteract hate messages with more positive rhetoric.
Left: Religious and community leaders call for prayer vigil; photo by historymike
“We believe that once we come together collectively and corporately that there will be a different outcome after this rally,” he said. “We hope that all people of good faith join together with us,”
Juanita Greene, executive director of the Board of Community Relations, said that those wishing to protest the NSM use the prayer vigil as a positive outlet.
“We hope to have more people show up on the Friday vigil than on Saturday,” she said. “For those who are unable to make the prayer vigil, we urge you to stay at home with your families on Saturday.”
Pastor Will Stuart, of Nu Vizion Christian Fellowship, said that the rally’s organizers hoped to send a different message than the neo-Nazis.
“We want to cover the city with prayer,” he said. “By giving people a positive alternative, we hope to avoid needless conflict and put out an ideology of love.”
In addition to the prayer vigil on Friday, there will be an alternative event at the Collingwood Arts Center from 2 to 4:30 PM on Saturday. The highlight of the gathering will be a film entitled “Promises,” which examines people living peacefully amid the violence and strife of the West Bank.