Jesus comes to Times Square: thousands pray and hear Bible readings at iconic New York City landmark

After the recent tragedy in Times Square where a troubled former Navy recruit mowed down 23 pedestrians, killing one young girl, Christian leaders rallied together and brought Jesus Week to the heart of New York City.

A reported 14,000 people were in attendance this past weekend in Times Square for Jesus Week. Jesus Week is an evangelistic outreach that brought the churches of New York together to celebrate and lift up the name of Jesus through prayer, the reading of scripture and live performances.

The event was held by Concerts of Prayer - Greater New York (COPGNY) which is a Christ-centered network of pastors and churches led by Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, whose sole goal is to encourage prayer across "ethnic, economic and denominational lines."

Jesus Week kicked off on May 27 with the leaders of Concerts of Prayer going into every borough in NYC to pray, help the poor, and minister in schools and troubled neighborhoods. The week concluded on June 3 with a large stage set-up in Times Square.

The Christian Post caught up with Salaberrios after the dynamic time of ministry and he explained that the weekend event featured audio Bible recordings which played throughout the day. The readings ran for an hour each time and was then followed by a minister who would pray through scripture.

"People said it was the boldest thing they've ever seen," Salaberrios told The Christian Post, describing people's reactions to the Bible being played out loud. He says the scriptures, prayers, and music were heard down four New York City blocks.

The stage was set up on 43rd street in Manhattan with banners raised, pointing people to Christ and prayer for the city. Gospel artists Papa San, Freddy Washington, and Dr. Robert Stearns all lent their talents to the main stage and thousands joined in to worship.

TBN Salsa was also in attendance and filmed the conclusion of Jesus Week for "Praise Salsa Style." Former Miss America Kirsten Haglund and TBN Salsa's Donna Clayton hosted the event, which also featured prayers from Councilman Pastor Fernando Cabrera, Pastor Adam Durso and others.

Salaberrios, president of COPGNY, took time to share his powerful testimony with those in attendance. He talked about going from a "street god" of pushing drugs as a major drug lord to now being a man of God who wants to share the love of Jesus with others.

He also took time to pray for the terror attacks happening throughout the world and even issued an altar call to which many responded. Furthermore, some there also received spiritual deliverance through prayer.

In addition to the time of ministry, Jesus Week gave the people of New York over $3 million of available resources. The materials included 120,000 Christian children's books (40,000 in Spanish), 180,000 Christian devotional books, and 100,000 Jesus Film DVD's.

For more information on Jesus Week or further initiatives, visit the website.

This article was originally published in The Christian Post.