For the last 20 years, Chicago has seen an unending wave of violence. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, between 2001 – 2020 more people were killed in the Windy City than in the combined military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Spiritual leaders in the city are joining together hoping to change that narrative. Their weapon is the power of the Gospel.
Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, a former drug dealer from New York, knows firsthand the reality of gun violence. After fasting forty days for an end to the violence, he felt compelled to take America where it happens in his film, Chicago: America’s Hidden War.
Salaberrios spent two years filming in the city and told CBN News what he sees happening there is a spiritual battle.
“I would say in Chicago there is definitely a demonic presence that I sense when I’m praying and interacting with people on the street,” explained Salaberrios.
Pastor Corey Brooks, who heads a ministry in Chicago called Project Hood, agrees with Salaberrios.
“There’s a real spiritual battle going on in the city of Chicago for the lives of people,” said Brooks. “There seems to be a spirit of murder throughout the city.”
Brooks explained how evil works its way into the lives of young people there.
“Some of it is gang-related,” said Brooks. “You have a bunch of splinter groups who are part of organizations. And these splinter groups go from block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood, and it makes things very difficult.”
Children are among the many victims.
“We’re halfway through the year and over a hundred children have been shot already,” said Salaberrios. We have a child in our film, Quincy, who sleeps under his bed because he feels like he can get shot. He realizes from the bullet holes on the walls of his house from many drive-bys in the neighborhood that are the level of his bed – if he slept in his bed – he would be shot.”