CHICAGO (CBS) — Religious leaders from throughout the Chicago on Thursday called for a weekend of prayer for victims of gun violence and their families.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago wants all faith communities to offer prayers this weekend, remembering the lives lost to senseless acts of gun violence.

Rev. B. Herbert Martin, once pastor to the late Mayor Harold Washington, said the high-rise housing projects that used to harbor the gangs are gone “but somehow, the scourge of violence – this evil, this almost endemic power – remains. Bloodshed, lawlessness.”

Humaira Basith, director of the Council of Islamic Organizations in Chicago, said faith leaders cannot simply accept that there were more violent deaths in Chicago last year than among the allied forces in Afghanistan.

“We are all representatives of houses of worship, and locusts of peace, and we have to expand that peace into the homes in these neighborhoods,” she said.

Rev. Stan Davis, co-director of the Council of Religious Leaders, said faith communities must not only pray this weekend, but take to the streets.

“For those of us that wish to address this issue head-on, we’re going to have to … not just open up our religious institutions, we have to get people out in the community ahead of that,” he said.

Asayo Horibe, president of the Buddhist Council of the Midwest, agreed that faith leaders must reach out to people in neighborhoods plagued by gun violence, but all agreed that, itself, is a challenge.