Churches urged to be vigilant about racism as recession bites

Churches urged to be vigilant about racism as recession bites

By staff writers
13 Jan 2009

A Christian academic has warned churches that they will need to be extra vigilant against racism in Europe related to the recession and economic downturn across Europe.

At a time of crisis “[i]t is important that Christians are willing to denounce racism and to encourage their leaders to work against racism,” says London School of Economics lecturer Dr Sujit Sivasundaram in the latest edition of the Jubilee Centre’s Cambridge Papers.

In his article, Dr Sivasundaram writes that the affirmation of ethnic diversity can give individuals and local communities a sense of cohesion and belonging.

He says that churches should set an example of unity and respect for ethnic diversity and warns that economic dislocation in Europe may lead to a new wave of urban unrest in which race is exploited as a factor.

Dr Sivasundaram writes: “The church must be very careful not to ... end up supporting the policies of repressive regimes or supremacist rhetoric. It should stand up for the victimised.”

One in five Christians in Britain belong to a minority ethnic community, and the black-led or black-initiated churches are among the fastest growing.

Church leaders in Britain have been united in their commitment to oppose racism and support refugees, even when other issues - such as human sexuality - have proved controversial.

Keywords: economy | racism
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