WCC moderator to greet Washington DC marchers

By agency reporter
April 4, 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, DC

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 the 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 police shooting on 18 March of an unarmed African American man in Sacramento, California. Seventy five 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 organisations, 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 the 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.

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* Act Now to End Racism http://www.rally2endracism.org

* World Council of Churches https://www.oikoumene.org/en/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.