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Bible and a gun? Massacres force churches, temples, mosques to question security

By in Press Enterprise on November 12, 2017

By Deepa Bharath

Pastor Mark Whitlock heard the news when he was in his office, surrounded by a security team, as he prepared to deliver his Sunday service.

There was another mass shooting, he heard. And it happened at a church — again.

“We began to weep,” said Whitlock, pastor of Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Irvine. “It shook us to our very core.”

The shooting Whitlock referenced was at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. On Nov. 5, a man with a gun walked into the church, methodically scanned the pews for victims, and opened fire. He killed 26 people, including eight children.

  • Law enforcement officials work at the scene of the First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

  • A law enforcement official continues to work the shooting scene at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas., on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Some churches have added security since shootings at places of worship started occurring in the U.S. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    A law enforcement official continues to work the shooting scene at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas., on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Some churches have added security since shootings at places of worship started occurring in the U.S. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Matthew Mata and Erika Gonzalez participate in a memorial service for the victims of the Sunday, Nov. 5 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

    Matthew Mata and Erika Gonzalez participate in a memorial service for the victims of the Sunday, Nov. 5 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

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