Religious leaders from across the country gathered Saturday at Washington National Cathedral to call for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as more attention to poverty-related problems underlying gun violence in inner cities.

The meeting, part of a four-day “gun violence prevention sabbath,” was broadcast via a live Web stream to about 400 congregations around the United States, including some that held similar events locally, organizers said.

Several leaders said they had a unique perspective on the gun issue from years of burying shooting victims and comforting their families. Others said their political strength stemmed from their diverse backgrounds — Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus — that straddled party lines. Several compared religious leaders’ role in the gun debate to that in the civil rights movement.

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