Racism is America’s “original sin,” present at the very beginning of our nation. Likewise, throughout history, the Christian Church too often has done too little to combat this grievous sin.
We, the undersigned, as Christian leaders express our sorrow to the citizens of the United States for not doing more to lead the way in healing our nation of the effects of this sin. We believe that despite the courageous efforts of Christian abolitionists, civil rights leaders, and social activists, the American Church has never reached the critical level of engagement and unified action to end the influence and reign of terror of racism in our nation. Therefore, we repent of our failure to do more in the face of such a repugnant national sin. Christians can do better.
We believe that 2 Chronicles 7:14 and many other scriptures set a precedent for believing that our God can heal our individual hearts, transform our churches, and help us unify to affect national change. We believe that the social reformation that must take place in America must be led by the church and be expressed locally. We need grassroots initiatives following the pattern articulated by the RECONCILED CHURCH MOVEMENT as seven bridges to peace.
Naturally, we need government, business, law enforcement, and community stakeholders to partner with us. The glue that will keep our nation together, though, is the church and faith leaders.
Specifically, we call for Christians everywhere to do three things:
- Signup Here and Join us in a 40-day fast from at least 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. starting August 29, 2017, and pray for three things:
- The cessation of racially motivated violence within our nation in the coming year, from September 1, 2017 to September 1, 2018. This would include citizen-on-citizen violence, police-versus-citizen violence, and general anarchy in urban and rural areas.
- For jobs to return to economically distressed urban and rural areas, bringing uplift to the poor of every U.S. ethnic group
- Support of this declaration by 30,000 clergy and 300,000 Christians.
- Sign and support the Justice Declaration of Prison Fellowship to focus on restoring the opportunities of returning citizen who have served their time in jails and prison.
- Initiate local Prayer and Reconciliation Rallies in the nation’s top 20 cities based on the Reconciled Church Model.
Why Have We Gathered today?
On the heels of the Charlottesville, Virginia incident, we believe the symbolic/prophetic significance of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington is important. Additionally, it has occurred to the Reconciled Church planning team that the church has never fully renounced its complicity in the racial problems of America. We felt we must speak now – before the cultural waters become muddier and divisive rhetoric creates more violence.
Therefore, as many groups come to Washington today, we have come to take responsibility for our nation back from the White House to the church house. We have come to make an appeal to Heaven to impact the heart of the church. We want to answer the violence of racism with the love of Jesus Christ.
The year 1963 was noted for racial tension in America. Similar to our day, media coverage of police brutality against minorities was widely reported. Further, as Dr. King wrote his “Letter From Birmingham City Jail,” this work was a call for the church to lead the way in personal change.
The goals of the 1963 march were protection for demonstrators against police brutality, significant civil rights legislation, and the elimination of racial segregation in public schools. Our prayer today is that we will blow a trumpet from Washington, D.C., in 2017 that will be heard around the nation.