NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Demonstrations and protests continue across the country and on Sunday in Hampton Roads, many of the protests focused on faith.

Many state, local, and faith-based leaders came together to hold peaceful protests with God at the center. They were there to praise and spread a message.

Young and old from nearly 100 different churches gathered at Norfolk City Hall for the peaceful march, praying for peace and unity.

One of the religious leaders who helped organize the event said the number of people that showed up changes how he felt two weeks ago.

“It makes me hopeful. Two weeks ago if you would have put that mic in my face, I would have been in tears. Pessimistic, hopeless, numb angry, and confused — today, I’m filled with hope,” said Pastor David McBride from New Life Church.

It was not just religious leaders, Norfolk Police Chief Boone and his officers marched with the crowd today.

Political leaders like Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Congressman Bobby Scott also made an appearance.

“I think we are all mourning the murder of George Floyd, but I think we also need to look at how we can learn from this and find ways to make our community better. To make it safer, and make life for everyone here more equal and more just,” said Luria.

They both also promised that change was coming at the legislative level this week.

“Tomorrow, legislation will be introduced that will prohibit chokeholds. Many communities have prohibited, but apparently is still going — strangling people to death. It will set federal and national standards for policing,” said Scott.

Across the water in Portsmouth a smaller but similar rally held the same message.

Chief Angela Greene along with Mayor John Rowe, Councilman Shannon Glover, Councilwoman Elizabeth Psimas, Councilman Nathan Clark and several faith leaders across the City of Portsmouth gathered together at the LOVE sculpture on Crawford Parkway.

Leadership, alongside citizens, joined in an effort to unify the community and pray for comfort for a nation that is hurting after the tragic death of George Floyd.

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