ORANGE, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — A prayer service was held in New Jersey Sunday for the victims of the shootings in Charleston.

Many gathered at the St. Matthew AME Church in Orange — and gave life to the victims by reading their bios aloud, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports.

Gov. Chris Christie attnded the service and said that tragedy is born from racism.

“We understand there are people who hate, and that hate results in violence.”

He continued saying the nation has come far in putting out the fire of hate, but says there is a much  longer journey still to walk.

“Because to get through this, we not only need love, but we need strength.”

Congregants left praying for an end to racism.

“Hopefully you know, one day, this is one of the ugliest things that’s still remaining here on Earth, one day it will leave.”

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