New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to include clergy in the 10th anniversary remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has drawn objections from Christian leaders.

“This is a shameful example of anti-religious bigotry,” Southern Baptist church-state specialist Richard Land said. “This once again betrays the secular bias against religion in certain liberal elements of our society whose epicenter is New York City.”

Fernando Cabrera, a pastor and New York City council member, said he was “utterly disappointed” and “shocked,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Cabrera told CNN he contacted the mayor’s office but was told there would be no prayers offered at the ceremony.

Bloomberg’s office said the 10th anniversary ceremony would follow the pattern of previous observances on the date of the worst attack ever against Americans on their soil. Earlier anniversary events also have not included clergy, according to the mayor’s office. The focus is to be on those who lost family members in the attacks.

“The ceremony was designed in coordination with 9/11 families with a mixture of readings that are spiritual, historical and personal in nature,” said Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg, in an email to CNN.

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