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'Racism is still with us', church leaders speak out on Black Lives Matter

by Marcus Jones

The Church of Ireland has said it's ready to play its part in eradicating racism from society.

It's Church and Society Commission has released a statement following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Leaders from the Anglican group say they lament over the role the church played in the slave trade in justifying its existence and are ready address the "conscious and unconscious racism" within the church.

"We lament the fact that churches often provided biblical and theological justification for this evil trade," they said. "There has been conscious and unconscious racism in our Church and in society as a whole, and we need to hear and address constructively the issues and concerns raised by black people and other ethnic minorities."

The Church says it will now begin conversations over inappropriate statues and monuments in its buildings and has made a commitment to bringing about change to the issue.

"Racism is still with us. As Ireland, North and South, becomes more racially diverse and inclusive, we are appalled by outbreaks of racist attacks, insults and discrimination which occur all too frequently. 

"We stand against such attacks and insults and we encourage church and other locally-based initiatives which provide welcome and support to all black and other ethnic minority individuals in our society, as part of our Christian witness."

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