Illinois churches show their support for Charleston

CHICAGO (AP) — Prayers for nine victims of a shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, filled sanctuaries in Illinois where pastors spoke of love triumphing over hate.

In the southwestern Illinois city of O’Fallon, the congregation of New Life in Christ Church joined hands to sing “We Shall Overcome.” The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the church’s Bishop Geoffrey Dudley said: “No matter who’s doing the hating, God’s doing the loving.”

In Chicago, an interfaith, interracial prayer service was planned for Sunday afternoon at New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church on the city’s west side. The Rev. Marshall Hatch tells The Associated Press: “We can’t let hate win.”

Hatch says sanctuaries “should remain sacred spaces” and he pledges to keep the doors to his church open.