The Ecumenical Council of Churches met online to combat racial discrimination and promote social justice
The “voices” of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (Cec) have come together to affirm the contrast to all forms of racism and to promote social justice.
“Voices” which today are a shared amplifier of an idea: that only a “conversion” can put an end to all forms of racism and racial discrimination “; a thesis already exposed in a joint declaration of the Executive Committee of the Cec issued on 3 June and focused on racial justice in the United States.
Dianna Wright, director ad interim of the ecumenical and interreligious relations of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, he said «Today the people I meet are angry and rightly so. And when they ask you about justice, you often don’t know what to say to them. But God asks us to do something and find answers. “
Anne Glynn-Mckoul, member of the Executive Committee of the Cec and belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and to the All the East Usa, said that “The United States is in crisis. The demonstrations in the streets, protracted over time, are an explosion of anger to denounce the increasingly obvious phenomena of systemic racism. Instead, the testimonies and the “contagious” effect that these demonstrations also had on the new generations were important. We need religious leaders today to be more visible, audible, and to unite more and more with the marches of solidarity together with the demonstrators, to be themselves witnesses of a turnaround and to contrast those who propose the thesis of supremacy white. “
David Emmanuel Goatley, director of the Faculty of the Office of Studies of Duke University Divinity SchoolNorth Carolina, USA, said that black America is trying to tell white America and the whole world that “we are suffering from political violence. The tragedy that struck George Floyd in Minneapolis it is symbolic, because it expresses well the suffering that so many black-skinned people have to suffer daily in the United States ».
Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Apostolic Church (seat of Saint Etchmiadzin) in the United States, recalling its origin, that is, from a country where minorities have always been marginalized, he said “in this country, the United States of America, I can understand very well the struggle waged by our African American sisters and brothers. Racism is evil. As Christians we must be at the forefront; always on the front line to make our voices heard, wherever there are injustices ».
Angelique Walker-Smith, activist of the Pan African and Orthodox Church a Bread for the World, who spent many days on the streets of the United States together with the demonstrators, recalled “all over the world people of African ethnicity, even those affected by hunger and poverty, are saying” enough is enough! “. As churches and as a population of the world we can only have an inclusive vision, precisely to build the kingdom of God and be ourselves the kingdom of God ».
Mary Ann Swenson, of the United Methodist Church (USA) and deputy moderator of the Central Committee of Cec, said that “the poverty and the way in which many people are treated in the world denotes a clear difference in treatment and how often it is difficult to eliminate what can be defined: institutional racism ».
Karin van den Broeke, of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and the Executive Committee of the ECC, said that many people in the world “are still suffering from racism. The role of the churches is to proclaim the message of the Bible and, starting from personal faith, to cry out to the world that we are all equal ».
In the declaration of June 3, the executive committee of the ECC states that much more needs to be done today to combat racism: “In communion with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, we affirm that” “corrupt” health and education systems; political and economic systems governed by racism, economic inequality and the widespread practice of white privilege are putting black people around the world at risk. We affirm that the interests of white supremacists are no longer acceptable today. “