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World News

'We have a sickness in this country': US Christian leaders respond to death of George Floyd

by Premier Journalist

A number of Christian leaders and musicians have reacted with horror at the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck and refused to release him despite the man's clear distress. The incident, which was caught on tape, has sparked mass protests across the United States and calls for the officer to be prosecuted for murder. 

Several prominent leaders in the faith community have spoken out about the situation, with some urging fellow believers to do more to call out racism and advocate for positive change in American race relations. 

Evangelist and author, Christine Caine, wrote on Instagram: "I used to sit back and see videos like this and think to myself, 'Let’s wait for all the details to come out.' Now after seeing too many videos like this to name I’m beginning to wonder if my response should have been, 'Maybe I should try to understand their pain.'

"Sometimes we can be so blinded by our experience and reality that we invalidate someone else’s. Today our black brothers and sisters are experiencing another trauma that communicates to them that their lives aren’t valuable. Centuries of reoccurring trauma takes its toll on a people group.

"Today I choose to lay down my preconceptions to learn from my friends of color. If we are truly the body of Christ one pain affects us all. We aren’t just the body when it’s convenient. We are the body when it’s hurting and broken. No more than the leg can disconnect from the arm can I disconnect my pain from that of my brethren."

Musician John Mark Mcmillan asked: "Can we humble ourselves and admit that we have a sickness in this country?"

The popular artist went on to say that America was suffering from a "complex, deep seeded, multigenerational sickness."

"I don’t pretend for a second to have the answer," he wrote. "I certainly don’t have much faith in a political solution. But I do believe God can change people if we’re willing to change. God help us change. God make us willing." 

Hillsong NYC pastor, Carl Lentz, declared: "GEORGE FLOYD SHOULD BE ALIVE.

"He should be serving in his church like he did. He should be taking food to people in the super hood, like he did." 

Lentz added that he "will not accept living in a country where you can put your knee on a mans NECK and kill him" and noted that America has "been broken racially, for too long."

"God, help us," Lentz concluded his post. 

Marshal Ausberry, the Southern Baptist Convention's first vice president and president of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that he was "disturbed, brokenhearted, and deeply grieved" when he heard that "another black man's sacred life has been unjustly snuffed out." 

He added: "The life of George Floyd was ended by those charged to protect and serve. They became judge, jury and executioner."

Elevation Church pastor, Steven Furtick, warned that Christians "don't get to throw our hands up saying 'we've got to do better than this' as we walk away." 

The popular church leader added: "When a video like this emerges and my stomach turns, and I post a prayer emoji and keep scrolling, without challenging the systems and sicknesses that created and enabled it, I am part of the problem.

"To be a follower of Christ means more than to feel bad about injustice. It means to fight against it in whatever way you can, even if that's one conversation and decision at a time." 

Christian rapper Lecrae simply tweeted: "My soul is grieved and Im tired y’all. Jesus give us wisdom and strength." 

The FBI has announced that it is investigating the incident, while the Minneapolis Police Department has said that all the officers involved in Floyd's arrest have been terminated with immediate effect.

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