International Council of Community Churches Resolutions on Racism

THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CHURCHES
Gathered in Annual Conference
July, 2015

 
A Resolution
One hundred fifty years after the American Civil War ended and slavery was abolished by the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, the stain of racism still infects the nation. During the last year we have seen repeated incidents of violence against persons of color, accompanied by expressions of hatred that encourage cruelty and bloodshed.

 
As a fellowship of Christian churches and ministry centers, the International Council of Community Churches reaffirms its commitment to justice; to reconciliation, and to Christian unity. These cannot be achieved without individual and societal changes that move our communities away from violence and brutality and by commitment to new paths of understanding and compassion.

 
To that end:
We applaud and encourage religious and civic leaders in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities and towns, including those of our fellowship, who are working to move their communities beyond the tragedies that have afflicted them and toward “the beloved community” envisioned by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Let us all continue “overcoming evil with good.” (Romans 12:1)
We decry the rhetoric and action of those who continue to seek division and discord and who advocate an evil vision of apartheid-like separation of God’s children. We firmly oppose violence, regardless of its source, and affirm God’s unifying shalom.

 
We pray and pledge ourselves to work for a society in which no one is denied her or his God-given rights, in which all individuals are given the opportunity to achieve their full human potential, and in which the weak and vulnerable are given special protection and are strengthened by those who are strong.
We pray for God’s guidance and wisdom in our quest.

 
Done this 16th day of July, 2015

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INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF COMMUNITY CHURCHES
Gathered in Annual Conference
2015

 
A Resolution
The churches and ministry centers of the International Council of
Community Churches decry the inte-religious, inter-ethnic and
inter-tribal violence that afflicts so many nations of the world.
In some cases this violence issues from simple bigotry and ignorance.
In other cases terror is being fomented by those in positions of
power. Driven by fears that changing demographics and emerging
technologies will threaten their control over their constituencies,
those who should be showing the way into a bright future of mutual
respect are instead encouraging violence and hatred in order to
retrain their status.

 
The strategy is transparent. Religious, ethnic and tribal groups are
identified as “the enemy” and are made the targets of discrimination,
oppression and warfare. The results are equally well known. Places of
worship are violated. Children are kidnapped. Mothers and fathers are
murdered. We weep with those of our own faith whose lives have been
violated by violence. We weep equally with those of other faiths whose
lives have been torn asunder.

 
In the face of this, the churches and ministry centers of the
International Council of Community Churches dare to proclaim the truth
that all human beings are children of God; that violence against any
part of humanity is violence against all; that rhetoric encouraging
inter-religious, inter-ethnic or inter-tribal discrimination and
violence is a sin against God, and that as sisters and brothers within
the human family, we are all called by our various religious faiths to
live in peace. As it is written “you shall love the alien as yourself.”
(Leviticus 19:34)

 
We honor those national, religious and ethnic leaders worldwide who
are seeking reconciliation and justice. We pray for greater wisdom and
greater understanding among all of God’s children.

 
Done this 16th day of July, 2015