Racial discrimination ‘has no place’ in evangelicalism



The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) is encouraging Christians to reflect on how they can become more racially aware and inclusive on Martin Luther King Day.

Martin Luther King Day, on Monday, is a public holiday in the US and this year takes place just two days before Joe Biden takes office as the 46th president, and at a time when racial and political tensions are running high in the country. 

The call coincides with the launch of new video resources from the CEEC that congregations can use to think biblically about racial injustice, an issue thrust to the forefront of public discourse in the US and further afield like the UK after the death of George Floyd last May. 

The Bishop of Blackburn and President of the CEEC, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said it was important that the conversation continue. 

“So much has happened in the news since the killing of George Floyd in the US last year that it would be too easy to forget the vital issues raised,” he said. 

“We believe these are important matters for all churches to discuss and think about – and not only that, but to act upon.

“Racial discrimination has no place in our church or the evangelical constituency. We want to weed out all forms of racism.”

The video resources, entitled ONE, feature Jason Roach, of The Bridge Church, Battersea; Mark Murthen of St James’, Muswell Hill; Margot Knight, of Christ Church at All Saints, Wandsworth; Esther Prior, of St John’s Egham; and John Dunnett of All Saints, Woodford Wells.

Rev Dr Jason Roach said: “The gospel impacts all of life. Churches should be beacons of racial integration and harmony and of unity amid ethnic diversity. This is a matter for all Christians to take seriously.”

The videos cover a wide range of topics, from systemic racism, to theology, multi-ethnic congregations and individual responsibility. 

Reflecting the need for the resources, Prior, a woman of colour, said she was once told by someone who knew her well, and knew that she had mixed-race children: “I don’t think mixed race people should exist – do you?”

CEEC member the Rev Lis Goddard said: “Even today, with increasing racial diversity in the UK, many evangelical groups, events and organisations both within the Church of England and the wider evangelical community are monochrome in terms of ethnic colour. We need to work hard to change that.”

The video suite is available via the CEEC website at www.ceec.info


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