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People pick up debris as Hurricane Irma howls past Puerto Rico.
People pick up debris as Hurricane Irma howls past Puerto Rico. ( REUTERS/Alvin Baez)

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Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), issues the following statement calling Christians across America and the greater Latino community to pray for Puerto Rico:

As Hurricane Irma, one of the largest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, barrels through Puerto Rico ... I want every Puerto Rican to know this: your Christians brothers and sisters are already on their knees, praying for your safety and the safety of your families. We are with you, and we will not forget or abandon you.

We pray for God's protection on every precious life, and that the worse of this storm might pass quickly. The Scriptures say, if one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it. I call upon every member and every church that's part of the NHCLC family to be one with Puerto Rico in prayer. Puerto Rico desperately needs our prayers tonight."

Rev. Rodriguez was born to Puerto Rican parents in the U.S. and still has family and friends living on the island.

Right now, Irma is headed toward the United States as a Category 5 hurricane.

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