Voices from Pastors of Black Led-Churches
Standing Together Against Racial Injustice
As faith groups we are standing in unity, to speak out against the injustices. We may all be greatly concerned with the current events that are taking place in the USA with the killing of Black people and those who have been harmed by the police. The fear, anger, and distress are also being felt in the UK and other parts of the world. When having to deal with the issue and effects of racism, some people say they don't know what to say, what to do, or know how to react. Our response is that if you are a human being, and if you see or hear about a fellow human being experiencing mistreatment because of the colour of their skin, don’t look away, say something and do something if possible to help them and correct the injustice. We should be moved even more so to speak and act when someone has been subjected to such cruelty and died as a result like George Floyd and all others who have died under similar circumstances.
We have gathered several statements from a number of Pastors of Black-led Churches across the city, Wales and also from the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Carole Johnson. The Keyboard Trust feels that there has to be a coming together and a rising up of individuals, churches, and professional bodies, where we face up to the issues no matter how hard, and come alongside others who are hurting in solidarity. So that together we can build strategic actions and move forward towards a better world. Prayer plays an important part in all of human life and activity so let’s petition for the Lord’s intervention to restore law, order and justice.
Pastor Eric Aidoo: Chair of Churches Together - Pastor City Rd Baptist - “I am writing to indicate how appalled I am at the events of the horrific treatment of people from the black community in the United States by Law enforcement officers that have led to the deaths of George Floyd and others, my deepest condolences go out to their families. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once reminded us “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and in the second paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. “
It is obvious from what’s occurring in the States that this truth that “...all men are created equal.” is not self-evident to some. There must be a contrary belief system that informs and drives such inhumane behaviour, perhaps the notion that holds one race superior and the other inferior. These acts of racial harassment and injustices have been going on for far too long but we will dare to continue to keep the hope of improved race relations and community cohesion alive. As we dialogue and seek proactive ways to make the required structural adjustments and changes to the systemic racial and socio-economic injustices existing within our context, to create a better future for posterity. As Edmund Burke once noted “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (people) to do nothing“ may we all strengthen our resolve to engage in conduct and activities that will be for the common good and the strengthening of community relations.”
Cllr Dr Carole Johnson: Deputy Lord Mayor - "What must I do to be saved from this Pandemic ...racism? “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” M.L.K. Truly EVERYTHING has a season. I believe it’s time for the church to stand united against this pandemic racism ...to empower to overcome and break these chains. Taking back those elusive promises of....freedom, justice and equality. Black and White...TOGETHER! It’s time”...
Bishop Raymond Veira: House of Praise Bristol - “Our hearts are anguished to see the racial injustice and oppression, being perpetrated against black men and women in the United States. Our people are hurting and angry; our feelings are best summed up in Isaiah 59:14 "...judgement is turned backwards, and justice stands afar off..." We cry for justice because of the image of God in every man regardless of colour. Let’s not be fooled, the same level of racism does exist in this country. I strongly believe that if the police forces within the UK were armed what we see in the USA would be the norm on the streets of the UK”.
Pastor Fatima Sibanda: Gods House International - “Racism in all of its expressions is not only inhumane, wicked and a tool of Satan. It's also rooted in pride, fear, insecurity, deception and gross ignorance. So we pray that Jehovah El-gibbor (Mighty God) arises and overthrows all such systems and institutions and bring justice and restoration for us and all who are oppressed. On the cross, both the oppressors and the oppressed need deliverance hasten it, Lord”!!
Pastor Steve McEwen: E5 City Church - “As a diverse Church community with over 50 nationalities we have been horrified at the killing of George Floyd. We stand in prayer with people of colour everywhere at this time. Our responsibility in living out the teachings of Jesus is to love our neighbour with compassion. Every human being is made in the image of God and has infinite worth and value. We will continue to serve this beautiful City of Bristol, which is precious in Gods sight. In the hope that heavens healing, justice and reconciliation will be extended to all.”
Pastor Elizabeth Brown: The New Restored Pentecostal Church - "Racism is an ugly spirit that needs to stamped out from our nations. God created one man and one woman and we all came from these two human beings. There is no race that is more superior than the other. The church, which is made up of all races, is deeply saddened by acts of racism."
Pastor Mike Nwaki: Living God Gospel Church – “We are deeply saddened by the racial injustice of ethnic minority and racial profiling by the police forces across the US and the UK. Let people be judged by the contents of their characters, rather than the colour of their skins”.
Pastor Lester Freckleton: Vine Community Church - (NTC England and Wales) - Isaiah 1:17 MSG says, “Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenceless.” Injustice is darkness God hates it and we should hate what He hates. “The world is calling for action. The church must respond from a position of love and justice not hate and revenge.”