To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Pastor who locked himself in prayer room to 'pray away crime' is still in there after 3 months

Pastor who locked himself in prayer room to 'pray away crime' is still in there after 3 months

The pastor has set himself a big task

A lot of people believe in the power of prayer, some more than others.

With violent crime on the rise in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, one pastor set himself the task of praying for it to go away.

Bishop Dwight Pate of Church Point Ministries hid himself away in a prayer room at the start of May.

Given that he's praying for God to reduce crime in his city, it's no wonder he's not been seen since.

The 68-year-old, from Knoxville Tennessee, said to WVLT8: "The only place that it can be solved is in the church."

Bishop Pate believes that prayer can change the hearts of criminals, by opening them up to God's love.

It's his hope that they will turn away from theft and murder and look to do good deeds with peace and love in their hearts.

Bishop Dwight Pate is praying for the city of Baton Rouge.

According to statistics, in 2020 there were 101 homicides in the city, alongside 55 rapes, 457 robberies, 1,473 assaults and 146 arsons.

Larcenies, burglaries, negligent homicides and vehicle thefts bumped the total crime stats up to 12,816.

With a crime rate of 69 per 1,000 residents, Baton Rouge has one of the highest crime rates across the entire US.

Over the years, the city has seen high levels of violent crime - peaking with 106 murders in 2017.

Louisiana overall has the sixth highest violence crime rate, behind Nevada, Arkansas, Tennessee, New Mexico and Alaska.

Bishop Pate believes his prayers will change this.

As part of his efforts to help the people of Baton Rouge, he is giving out 200,000 bottles of holy oil.

And this isn't the first time that he has made use of his prayer room.

When it first opened in 1994, he spent almost eight months in there praying and did so again in 2000, when he wanted to pray away the suffering and pain of the elderly.

Baton Rouge has had a high crime rate for years.

His longest stint in the prayer room came in 2014 when he shut himself away for almost a year.

People are welcome to visit the prayer room, and one local news outlet reported that people wishing to turn away from drugs and prostitution have visited in recent months.

It's not certain how long Bishop Pate will spend in isolation, but one thing is certain - he's determined to see a difference in the wider community.

The New York Times reports that New Orleans, Louisiana's biggest city, has had the highest murder rate among American cities dozens of times since 1993.

Even if New Orleans was removed from statistics, the state would still rank in the top two for highest murder rates.

Featured Image Credit: WVLT8

Topics: US News