As seen in the Gospel narrative, Jesus calls the Church to practice a radical form of love that is fueled by justice and mercy, particularly centered around defending the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.
However, the North American Church today has largely been silent about systemic violence affecting black and brown communities, particularly widespread police violence. This overwhelming silence and passivity as Christians not only deeply fails our neighbor, but fails our call to bring justice to a hurting world.
On the night of September 16th, an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher was shot by police after someone called in his abandoned vehicle. On his way back from attending a class at his local community college in Tulsa, Terence’s car began to experience mechanical issues. Scared the car may explode, he got out of his car to ensure his safety. Within minutes of arriving to the scene, Terence was killed by police. More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/video-released-in-terence-crutchers-killing-by-tulsa-police.html?_r=0
Only days later on September 20th, police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott - a disabled black man in Charlotte, North Carolina while he was reading in his car, waiting for his child to get off the bus.
These are only two incidences of hundreds, where innocent lives were taken without . Many of these include black and brown women, children and members of the LGBT community.
These incidents are only two of hundreds of others that have shown the merciless abuse of power by police that people of color continue to fear. It is time for us to take action to stop this violence, and encourage the Church to move towards building just and merciful cities that better reflect a vision of Beloved Community.
Christians are planning to participate in many ways. Here are a few:
—Hold Vigils at churches, outside of local police stations, on Christian college campuses
—Pass out flyers on your Christian college campus or church with photos of Terence Crutcher, Keith Scott or other folks with information on their killing asking Christians to speak out against police violence
—Wear t-shirts with Terence Crutcher and Keith Scott’s name with related messaging to Sunday Service
—Hold banners/signs as Christians against police violence on a busy street, being willing to have conversations with other Christians
—Hold banners/signs with messages like, “Terence Crutcher was a child of God” “Silence is Violence - Christians Against Police Brutality” in front of a mega church on Sunday.
—Peacefully disrupt a Sunday service by standing and singing, as demonstrated here: http://livestream.com/accounts/12767816/events/4739763
—Create a fundraiser to support the Bond Fund of Charlotte Activists through the Durham Freedom Fighter Fund http://durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund/)
—Fundraise to support Christian leaders of color, such as those featured in The Voices Project (http://voices-project.org/)
—Organize an Anti-Racist Action team in your church that mobilizes, encourages and educates congregants on how they can support the Movement for Black Lives over the long haul in deep and meaningful ways.
—Get your faith community to become a monthly supporter the leadership of Black and Brown people in your community and around the country. Check out The Voices Project, as well as other projects and collectives led by people of color in your hometown.