Religious leaders talk about healing after mass shootings

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders of churches and a synagogue that were victimized by violent hate crimes met Monday evening to talk about how they helped their congregants heal.

The leaders met at the Washington National Cathedral along with District of Columbia religious leaders and law enforcement.

Officials said it's the first time they have all gathered.

Leaders from Emmanuel AME in Charleston, S.C., the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, attended the meeting, district officials said.

Nearly four dozen people were shot and killed in separate attacks at their institutions.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said bias crimes are up in the district and D.C. police are enhancing security efforts.

Christopher Rodriguez of the district's homeland security and emergency management agency said it is working to stop the prevalence of violent hate crimes, and hoped to learn from the leaders how to develop tools other religious groups can use.

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