A pastor in the US state of Louisiana has pledged not to leave his church’s prayer room until the crime levels in his local area reduce.
Dwight Pate, the lead pastor of Church of Point Ministries in Baton Rouge, started the prayer initiative in May and has not left the room since.
Speaking to WLBT, Pastor Pate said he hopes to draw people to the building to seek prayer and receive holy oil.
“It's impossible for someone to really be sincere by seeking God without drawing other men and women to pray,” the 68-yer-old pastor said.
“I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the individuals that's creating all the violence.”
According to police reports, more than 13,000 violent crimes took place in between January and March this year.
In a video posted on Facebook after its first 24hrs in the prayer room, Pastor Pate said: “What it means to be in the prayer house is that I can just spend 24 hours a day talking to my God—just being with my God and seeing the fruit of God touching your life."
This is not the first time Pate has staged such a protest.
This is not the first time the pastor has spent months locked in the prayer room. In 1994, he did so for eight months, praying for peace in the city. He did it again in 2000 for another five months, but this time in order to connect with the pain and suffering of the isolated elderly.