(CBS) — A group of local politicians have nominated the Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina for the Nobel Peace Prize, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

Reacting to the murders of nine African-American church members at the hands of a racist last June, the Mother Emanuel community and city of Charleston responded with forgiveness and peace.

Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli says that could inspire the world.

“We believe that peace among people, not just in Charleston, South Carolina, but across the global community has been advanced by the example that was set,” he said.

Zuccarelli and several politicians including U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush and Robyn Kelly submitted the nominations Saturday, months after visiting the church and talking to its survivors.

Rush and Robin Kelly attended the funeral services for AME members. Kelly described them as “gut-wrenching”.

Rush says he’ll do all that he can to encourage the Nobel Committee to give the prize to the church.

State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) compared the possibility of the church getting the prize to when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr received it in 1964, saying both demonstrated that peace is a most precious commodity and non-violence is a moral force that can change the world.

According to the Nobel website, a short list of candidates is chosen between February and March, with the winner announced in October.