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#PrayforOrlando lifts thoughts, prayers for shooting victims

(RNS) After the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, people take to social media to #PrayforOrlando.

Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando, Fla., police headquarters during the investigation of the deadly shooting at the Pulse nightclub, June 12, 2016.  Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Nesius

(RNS) Minutes after a gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday (June 12) in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, social media platforms were swamped with prayers for the victims:

Police identified the gunman, slain at the site, as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, an American citizen living in Port St. Lucie, Fla. That prompted a round of posts commenting on the shooter’s religion and nationality.

Islamic groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter, were quick to condemn the attack, which occurred during the holy month of Ramadan:

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of only two Muslims who serve in Congress, also expressed sadness:

But while many asked for prayers, others used the #PrayforOrlando hashtag to express frustration, resistance and, in some cases, calls to action.

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