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Racism in US is ‘deep, wide, pervasive’ — but churches can bring hope, finds WCC delegation

Racism in US is ‘deep, wide, pervasive’ — but churches can bring hope, finds WCC delegation

Delegates on the US racial justice team of the World Council of Churches arrive for morning worship at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, 24 April 2016. Photo: WCC/Theodore Gill

30 April 2016

After visiting the United States in a spirit of accompaniment, a World Council of Churches delegation is preparing a report on how churches can help achieve racial justice.

Churches can offer a renewed and reinvigorated response to the sin of racial hatred, violence and discrimination in the early 21st century, the delegation found, while at the same time noting the intense need for change.

“We had heard that racism continues to be an issue in the United States,” said Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee. “But we did not expect to find it so deep, so wide and so pervasive.”

Abuom led a the 19-25 April racial justice accompaniment visit, which included the cities of Charleston, South Carolina; Ferguson, Missouri; and Chicago, Illinois.

The team of WCC visitors who made the journey are now collaborating to prepare a report on their experience and findings, with recommendations for next steps in response. The report will be submitted in May to the WCC Central Committee for consideration at its June 2016 meeting in Trondheim, Norway.

After due deliberation, the Central Committee will determine appropriate action for the WCC and its partners in the United States and throughout the world.

Related links:

Media advisory, including list of participants

Ecumenical team listens and learns in racial justice journey to the USA (WCC press release of 18 April 2016)

WCC visitors to US enter conversations on racial matters in the USA (WCC press release of 19 April 2016)

Ecumenical visitors to US prepare report on churches’ approach to racial justice (WCC press release of 30 April 2016)

WCC member churches in North America