The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans plans to distribute 5,000 yard signs conveying the Bible's message of "thou shalt not kill" to church parishes as a part of its "New Battle of New Orleans" campaign combating violence in their city.
"I want these signs to serve as a reminder to people that violence and murder are not the answers to a problem," Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a statement posted on the diocese website.
"I want area Catholics and non-Catholics who wish to join us to be able to proudly display the signs and in doing so, tell their neighbors, we are a people of peace, we do not accept or want violence in our neighborhoods," he added.
Two large signs also will be placed at the archdiocese's headquarters at 1000 Howard Ave., and another at St. Louis Cathedral.
Additionally, in a letter composed to all parishes explaining the initiative, Archbishop Aymond wrote: "It is important that we continue to pray and act to bring an end to violence in our community. Please continue to pray with me for our community and that the hearts of those who turn to violence may be turned towards God."
According to NOLA.com, New Orleans holds a city murder rate of ten times the national average, with an estimated one killing every two days.
In a separate effort to end violence in New Orleans, director Spike Lee has created the "Flip the Script" campaign, which seeks to change the attitudes of young black men in the city as well as attitudes about the young black male demographic in general.
"Flip the Script" is a part of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's "Nola For Life" initiative, which seeks to cut murder rates in the area.
Landrieu told reporters in early October that New Orleans has had an average of 241 murders every year for the past 30 years, according to WVUE-TV.
Landrieu affirmed to reporters that he chose to partner with Lee in order to address the tension between young black men in the area.
"One of the things I'm committed to is trying to find an answer to that, to really get down in the deep and figure how to make the streets of New Orleans safe," Landrieu told reporters, according to WVUE-TV.
As far as his initiative goes, Archbishop Aymond told BayouBuzz.com that he believes the city is "beyond a breaking point" with crime and murder rates.
"It really is this battle against murder and violence and racism," the archbishop said.