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Roanoke church hosts prayer vigil for Afghanistan

On Friday night, people in the Roanoke Valley gathered to pray for the situation in Afghanistan. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke hosted a come as you are prayer vigil.

It was a small and intimate gathering in Roanoke’s Grandin neighborhood. Rev. Walter LeFlore said people need a space to acknowledge and process what’s going on in the world.

“We decided we wanted to open up the congregation to the community so that they too can come and be a part of—our hope is—healing,” LeFlore said.

They gathered for a drop-in vigil to recognize the strife in Afghanistan. Roanoke Vice-Mayor Trish White-Boyd was one of the attendees, called by her own faith, but she said it’s more than religion.

“This touches every denomination, every community, if you are a human being. You don’t have to be a humanitarian to care about other people,” White-Boyd said.

As refugees flee Afghanistan, many are left wondering where they’ll go. Roanoke is known for its diversity, but White-Boyd said the question of offering the Star City as a refuge hasn’t been covered.

“I certainly think that Roanoke City would be welcoming, and I’m only speaking for me because we have not had any discussions about it, but I, personally, would welcome them,” White-Boyd said.

Attendees shared prayer both out loud and internally, as well as lit candles for the victims. The church said the future is unclear and it wants to help people cope.

“And, we’re dealing with another spike in COVID coming back, so there’s no easy path in our immediate future it seems,” LeFlore said.

Source: WSLS News 10

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