The killing of Black and Brown people by law enforcement officers while in custody. The murder of George Floyd. The ongoing effects of the pandemic on Black, Indigenous People of Colour. All these injustices have given me cause to pause and reflect on the impact of racial injustice. As an Afro-Guyanese mother and women’s ministry leader, it pains me to see the unending brutality by law enforcement officers on Canadians of African descent. I have wrestled with my thoughts about racial injustice in our society and the overwhelming silence of evangelicals on this issue. The silence has been deafening and has sparked my interest in the biblical perspective of racial justice.
I can’t help but wonder what a difference it would have made then, and now, if society and the evangelical Church had not looked the other way for so long. If we lead instead of intervening to address the issue.
It is rather strange that I’m thinking of these realities as we celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Canadians to Canada, but they have ignited an increasing awareness of the racial injustice experienced by Black people across this continent and globally. Today, racial injustice is no longer discussed in vague generalities and there is a general acknowledgement in Canadian society that racism is not a thing of the past, but it is alive and well.
We serve a God who loves justice. Instead of reacting to issues, a proactive stance needs to be taken and this requires intentional steps by evangelicals. In Nova Scotia, the African Baptist Association has a long history of addressing racial injustice, but even so we all need to hear more from the wider Church.
As believers, our lives must be congruent with the gospel. What we do, what we say, and who we are must reflect the Bible’s teachings. If we believe that God’s Word has the answer for all of society’s ills, we cannot cherry-pick which issues to address, and silence is no longer an option. We must address all forms of injustice in society and in our churches.
As we celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of African Canadians to their community and the wider Canadian society, my hope is that we would also reflect on how we can move the dial forward and take meaningful steps to address racial injustice. I am heartened that Christians from all racial backgrounds are beginning to take a stand and I look forward to more robust discussions and teaching among evangelicals on this topic, which is key to obeying and worshiping Him.
- What steps can we take to learn from the past in order to move towards racial justice in society and the Church?
- What can you do personally to move the dial forward