HAMPTON, Va. - People in the community came to Friday prayer service with heavy hearts.
The service started with a moment remembering the people who lost their lives at the two mosque shootings in New Zealand.
The founder of the Hampton Mosque, Dr. Ahmed Noor, says prayer is the first step to healing.
“We pray to God to have his mercy on the innocent victims and to provide his help and comfort to those innocent families.”
Members who attended service Friday say they are still in disbelief that that the shootings happened inside a place of worship.
Dr. Noor wants the community to know that the mosque is still a sacred place where people should come to feel safe and protected. He's also asking everyone takes heart to take heart and practice the act of forgiveness even when it's tough.
"Goodness and evil are not equal. Repay the evil with what is better. So, that is what I remind the community," says Noor.
Noor also says he doesn't believe places of worship need police patrols, but others think it's time to for a police presence.
Local law departments say they will patrol all religious facilities on a consistent basis and also add patrols accordingly to any potentially affected areas.