By Thomas L Blair 04 June 2017
Prayers are not enough for our people or for the nation. “We need to empower Faith groups for action in the political process” say Britain’s Black-led Christian churches as GE 2017 comes to a climax.
This is the message from the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) to parishioners and policymakers. They don’t invoke divine authorship but claim the moral high ground for their followers, society and nation.
Crucially, evangelical and pentacostal preachers say their congregations are tired of second-hand living in marginal areas. Moreover, dramatically direct, leaders condemn Brexit Britain’s “ideological imperialism”, a stranglehold on their homelands.
A recent leadership meeting proposed over 48 key recommendations and action points. Co-chaired by Dr R David Muir and Pastor Ade Omooba they targeted nine key policy arenas:
– Church and Community
– Policing and Criminal Justice
– Mental Health
– Voting and Political Mobilisation
– Family and Marriage
– Youth and Education
– Media, Music, Arts & Culture
– International Aid and Development
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Significantly, political evangelists are strengthening the Black Church. The reverends Muir and Amooba have expanded Black-majority church expertise. Dr Muir is a political scientist and theologian with a doctorate in Political Theology. Omooba heads the Christian Concern & Christian Legal Centre and supports the Maryland comprehensive secondary school, London.
In addition, Pastor Agu Irukwu is a law graduate from the University of Warwick, a barrister and former investment banker. Prominent co-religionists include Reverend Yemi Adedeji, Dr Jonathan Oloyede, Reverend Kingsley Appiagyei, Dr R. David Muir, Reverend Esme Beswick, and Bishop Wilton Powell.
Pastor Agu expressed Black leaders concerns to the Archbishop of Canterbury at their farewell reception for him. With passion, enthusiasm and vision he said, “We are in a big crisis of trust in our institutions, politics, media, The BBC, and even in our churches. The role of the church here and in other parts of the world is to create a trustworthy public conscious”.
Timely and powerful words. But will the message have its intended effect on election day?
What’s your opinion? Will the Black Christian message move people from dispirited onlookers to committed and informed voters?
We’ll be scouting the Race, Faith and Equality programs and progress until the GE 2017 results are in.
Your best thoughts and Comments are welcome here — with name and email address, please.