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WCC moderator to greet DC marchers

01 April 2018

Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches central committee, will address participants at this week’s “Act Now to End Racism” march and rally in Washington, D.C.

The 3-5 April event, initiated and coordinated by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCUSA), is meant to call attention to the ongoing and often lethal issue of racism in American life.

It takes place exactly 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., the iconic American civil rights leader.

The march and rally also come at a time of heightened tensions following the March 18 police shooting of an unarmed African American man in Sacramento, California. 75 unarmed African American men have been killed by police in the US in the last two years, according to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.

Sponsored by two dozen American churches and allied organizations, including the WCC, the event inaugurates a multiyear NCC programme of marshaling the 100,000 churches in the US to assess their own culpability in American racism and to address the causes and symptoms of racism in American policing and jurisprudence, education and the economy.

"Christian churches, present in every town and community across the country, are both part of the problem and the solution. NCC and our partners are committed to addressing the systemic evil that many Christians and church institutions have yet to fully acknowledge," said Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, the former general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who is leading the Truth and Racial Justice Initiative for the NCC. Watkins is a member of the WCC central committee.

Two years ago, Abuom led an international delegation of WCC member churches to the US in an expression of ecumenical solidarity after multiple racially charged killings, including the murder of nine African American churchgoers in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and police killings of young African American men.

The National Council of Churches has a long history of activism in the cause of civil rights and racial justice. It is the nation's largest ecumenical body and includes more than 45 million members. Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 38 member communions form a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches.

Learn more about “Act Now to End Racism”

See more information on the 2016 solidarity visit to US churches