Church Leaders Respond to Ferguson and Racism

Multi-Ethnic Churches Lament America’s Racial Injustice: The American church must do better in providing spiritual leadership toward a healing response.

 Le Que Vu-Heidkamp, Bryan Loritts, David Anderson, Eugene Cho (TIME Magazine, August 25, 2014)

Throughout this past week the attention of our nation has been rightly set on Ferguson, Missouri. Tragedy and tensions in this small town have served to highlight troubling trends elsewhere, too, in the United States, in what remains for us a very long and sad history of racial tension and strife. As followers of Jesus and evangelical pastors of multi-ethnic and economically diverse churches we lament and mourn the death of yet another unarmed citizen, in this case the death a young black man. Furthermore, we lament the fact that our country, and our world, remains deeply plagued by racial and systemic injustice.

At its core the scourge of racism presents a spiritual crisis with real life and death repercussions. And while government and educational programs, together with the efforts of countless individuals, groups and agencies, have long-sought to eliminate prejudice and the disparaging consequences of systemic racism still deeply embedded within our society, it is long-past time to recognize that systemic racism cannot be overcome apart from the establishment of local churches which intentionally and joyfully reflect the love of God for all people beyond the distinctions of this world that so often and otherwise divide.

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