Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith, senior associate for Pan-African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World, and a member of the WCC central committee, spoke about re-envisioning our witness to Christ’s love on the anniversary of Juneteenth and the 7th commemoration of the massacre other Emanuel AME Church in Charleston (USA) in which nine people lost their lives.
“In witnessing to Christ’s love, we call on WCC member churches to serve those most affected by the sins of racism, capitalism and militarism,” said Walker-Smith.
Her comments followed a report from WCC moderator Dr Agnes Aboum in which Aboum called on the WCC to respond to the present crisis of hate speech and actions in our world today. The moderator challenged the WCC to respond to the problem of hate speech becoming “normalized in human communication through social networks; when xenophobia and racism are nurtured by national populisms and their politics of fear, when the poor --who are many-- face the consequences of the climate emergency catalyzed by the lifestyle of the few-- who are rich; when trafficked people and children without identity escaping repression, oppression and suffering in the seas…when all this happens, it makes sense to call on Christians and churches from around the world to re-envision prophetically their apostolate, their mission, witness and unity in relation to love, especially in regards to Christ’s love today.”
Walker-Smith and the rest of the WCC central committee commended Aboum for her courageous leadership as moderator and her timely report.
“Now more than ever, since the founding of the WCC in 1948, our world is facing a convergence of demonic existential challenges, including nuclear war, racism, ecological devastation and the annihilation of mother earth and all the inhabitants of God’s good creation,” said Walker-Smith. “As witnesses to Christ’s love, justice and mercy, we call on WCC member churches to engage in the continuing struggle for racial and economic justice, gender equality, violence and the end of militarism.”
WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca called on the global fellowship to take action. “We call on the WCC member churches and ecumenical agencies to address the gap between the rich and poor,” he said. “Recognizing that there is enough food and resources in our world to provide for every person on earth, we call on the nations and financial institutions of the world to issue a year of Jubilee that calls for a radical redistribution of wealth and resources to the poor and needy during these critical times in the history of the world.”
WCC interview: Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith on the first anniversary of the US Federal Holiday of Juneteenth and the 7th anniversary of the massacre and martyrdom of the Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Nine in Charleston, South Carolina