Speaking to about 250 religious and community leaders here Thursday, minister Louis Farrakhan urged unity among African Americans and called on them to buy up property in Detroit.
"We don't have a lot of money," Farrakhan said of African Americans. "But we have about 500,000 to 600,000 blacks" still in Detroit.
"If we would unite, we could choose what part of downtown we want," he said. "Don't let them drive you out of those homes."
Farrakhan, a Muslim who heads the Nation of Islam, preached a conservative message of self-reliance and family values coupled with black empowerment as he defended himself against charges he's hateful and anti-Semitic.
Speaking at New Destiny Christian Fellowship Church in Detroit, Farrakhan urged Christian pastors to stay true to the teachings of the Bible and not compromise on such issues as gay marriage. He quoted frequently from the Bible and the teachings of Jesus as he told the crowd that Detroit can rebuild itself only if its people are grounded in good morals.
"We have to be a better example for the people. ... As pastors, we got to come back to Christ," Farrakhan said. "We got to get in line with him."
"If Christ was your Lord," you could "rise this city up," he declared, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.
Farrakhan is in Detroit this week for the first time since 2007, when he addressed 50,000 at Ford Field. Since the Nation of Islam was started in Detroit, Farrakhan said he feels an obligation to help the city. He is to speak Friday before the Detroit City Council and at Fellowship Chapel, the Detroit church led by the head of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP.
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SOURCE: Detroit Free Press