LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Leaders of a Louisville church who provided refuge to protesters Thursday night said they want to help amplify Black voices and support the fight for racial justice.

“Unitarian universalism is a faith of justice,” said the Rev. Lori Kyle, of the First Unitarian Church, near downtown. “It's one of the primary tenets of our faith tradition. And we are very much in this fight with the Black community to bring racial justice”

For some two hours after the 9 p.m. county-wide curfew Thursday, with police waiting nearby, protesters took refuge at the church, which had declared itself a sanctuary for demonstrators.

Church members provided protesters food, water and shelter, and helped convince police to allow protesters to safely march back downtown.

Peggy Mueller, board president of the church, said, “The people of First U have been on the front lines helping every way they can to make justice for all a reality. How could we not help with this?”

Church leaders say they have gotten some negative feedback, but will continue to provide sanctuary for the protesters as long as needed.

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