Evangelicals in the Church of England are marking Martin Luther King Day by launching videos aimed at helping Christians think more deeply about racial issues.
The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) says they are "aimed at getting congregations to think biblically about how they can become more racially aware, sensitive and inclusive".
The main video features Jason Roach from The Bridge Church in Battersea; Mark Murthen of St James’, Muswell Hill; Margot Knight, of Christ Church at All Saints, Wandsworth; Esther Prior, of St John’s Egham; and John Dunnett of All Saints in Woodford Wells. It discusses issues such as anti-racism literature, individual responsibility, knowing history and theology and calling out injustice.
The president of CEEC, the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Revd Julian Henderson, said: “So much has happened in the news since the killing of George Floyd in the US last year that it would be too easy to forget the vital issues raised. We believe these are important matters for all churches to discuss and think about – and not only that, but to act upon. Racial discrimination has no place in our church or the evangelical constituency. We want to weed out all forms of
Rev Lis Goddard (a CEEC member), added: “Even today, with increasing racial diversity in the UK, many evangelical groups, events and organisations both within the Church of England and the wider evangelical community are monochrome in terms of ethnic colour. We need to work hard to change that.”
Rev Dr Jason Roach urged that churches "should be beacons of racial integration and harmony and of unity amid ethnic diversity".
"This is a matter for all Christians to take seriously," he said.
MLK Day is a federal holiday in the United States and has been celebrated across the county since it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on Wednesday, called for a national day of service to coincide with the remembrance of MLK, urging people to get involved in volunteering opportunities that are virtual or with “very limited in-person components".
"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are empathetic leaders who know the crisis millions of American families are facing," the Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement. "And like Dr. King, they know that we must have a shared commitment - in word and in deed - to bring the nation together in service to others."