ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A vigil held in Annapolis Tuesday honored the 50 victims who lost their lives in two New Zealand attacks.

People of all faiths and backgrounds gathered to remember those who lost their lives in New Zealand.

“Too many communities are living in fear of being attacked, and we won’t stay silent,” Zainab Chaundry, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said.

Dozens gathered for a prayer vigil, mourning the loss of the victims killed in the deadly terror attacks.

“Fifty innocent victims young and old lost in their place of worship,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said. “It is another senseless act of gun violence. We have to stand together and prevent violence. It has to stop.”

For one woman in the crowd, the attacks hit close to home.

“I have family that lives in Christchurch,” Stephanie Kemp said. “I’ve experienced lockdown here. As you know, I never imagined my niece and nephew in school would have to just, yeah, it was very hard to digest.”

The pain was felt by everyone, including faith leaders.

“Even though this has been one of the worst tragedies to hit the Muslim communities globally, out of this tragedy and hate, we’re going to see an outpouring of love and solidarity that I think is really strengthening our community in ways we haven’s seen before,” Chaundry said.

Those at the vigil said they plan to reach out to local law enforcement to demand more security for different houses of worship.

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Kelsey Kushner

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