A US church "fasting from whiteness" during this year's Lent, has said promoting love and diversity was the inspiration, behind the bold headline for their fast.
The First United Church of Oak Park released a statement, following widespread criticism for their chosen Lent.
They said their intention is to "lay aside our usual frames of reference" and hear the Gospel "through the voices of Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Color."
The statement quotes lead pastor of the church Rev John Edgerton saying: "This whole practice has been about love."
"Justice must be loved into existence. It is the only way. White people absolutely have a place in the redemption story.
"White people were even at the foot of the cross: they were the Roman Guards. As white people we must love our Redeemer enough to put down our spears. We must love our redeemer more than our whiteness, and kneel before our redeemer who is a dark-skinned man from the poor parts of town," the statement read.
Rev John also explained that Lent not only means to "give up something" but also "taking something up," and for the church that has been the criticism, sparked by their fast, adding that they have received over 1,000 hateful messages, in under a day.
"In this case, "taking something on" became living into the reality of white supremacist backlash in this country," the statement continued.
"This is where actually walking the walk of love can take you in this country today. Jesus knew it, and blessed those who stood up for righteousness' sake."
"As we approach Holy Week, this message of love in the face of hate could not be more appropriate," the statement concluded.
Lent 2022 finishes on 14th April.