The Chair, vice-chair and Treasurer of the Commission have signed a letter put together by the faith leaders involved withLeeds Citizens. The recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has had repercussions not only across the USA but across the world. We join with other faith leaders in denouncing racism wherever it occurs and we will continue to strive for a world where the god-given dignity of every human being is recognised.
This letter has been put together by faith leaders in Leeds. We are sure that the sintiments will be echoed in church communities across the Diocese of Leeds. The text of the letter is reproduced below.
As Christian leaders in Leeds we know that silence is no longer an option.
Black Lives Matter. Following the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis we make it clear that we are appalled by the violence committed against a human being created in the image of God. We are shocked too by the incendiary language, poor judgement and violence against peaceful protest that has followed in the wake of George’s death.
The Christian scriptures contains a vision of the justice that Christ lived and died for:
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
We recognise that racism is embedded in many institutions and cultures – including our own. For too long we have enjoyed the comforts of being among the powerful and rich, complicit in injustice and in perpetuating prejudice and racism. We recognise that we have allowed ourselves to become estranged from God and from the people he loves – including black people in our own churches and communities.
We recognise we need to listen to and learn from our black sisters and brothers. We need to reflect, repent and act differently across our City to forge together a better future where all have a voice, are able to contribute and live free from fear and oppression.
We wish to build relationships in our city so we are not just helping people different from us address problems, but finding common cause with partners and friends to forge a better future together.
We hope that through our listening we can shape the policies, practices and priorities of the institutions, churches, business and services of our city.
May the Spirit of Christ, poured out on the nations of the world at Pentecost, transform our hearts, renew our minds and lead us forwards in humility and love.