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Conservative Group Plans Prayer Session in Response to First Cedar Valley Pridefest

The Cedar Valley's first Pridefest will be held in downtown Waterloo August 18.

A local conservative Christian group is trying to organize a day of prayer in opposition to an upcoming festival in downtown Waterloo.

Pridefest, organized to celebrate diversity of lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender members of the community, will be the first of its kind to be held in the Cedar Valley. It will be Sat., August 18 from noon to midnight.

The group Cedar Valley Patriots for Christ sent out a press release Thursday night calling on area churches to hold a day of fasting and prayer while the celebration is happening.

"The Cedar Valley Patriots for Christ does not feel Pridefest refelects the true values of our community," the statement said. "Our goal is not to persecute the gay community, our goal is to pray for them and our community out of love."

Pridefest organizer Christopher Schwartz rejected the idea Pridefest doesn't reflect local values.

“We think the outpouring of support we’ve received organizing this festival shows that the true values of this community are acceptance, love and celebration of diversity,” he said.

Judd Saul, who sent out the press release, said the group will not meet in a central location for the day of prayer. Instead, their members are talking to their churches about holding church-level gatherings.

Saul said he wasn't at liberty to name any participating churches.

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