NATIONAL CHURCH LEADERS FORUM PRESS RELEASE
Statement for immediate release published on Saturday 20 June 2015
NCLF Statement on the Mass Murder in Charleston, USA
We stand in sympathy and solidarity with the families and friends of all those who were brutally murdered in the Lord’s house
The mass murder on Wednesday night at the historic black church in Charleston has shocked America and the world. We offer our sympathy to the families and friends of all those who perished in this tragic act of race hatred.
The killer, Dylann Roof, walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during their Wednesday night prayer and bible study, sat with them for an hour, and then shot and killed members in cold blood. The senior pastor, Rev Clementa Pinckney, who is also a state Senator, was among the nine people massacred by this racist murderer. People go to church to seek God, find comfort and offer support to the marginalised and disenfranchised; they don’t expect to be gunned down in cold blood. This was an act of evil, racism and blasphemy.
Once the mourning and grieving is over and these children of God are laid to rest, there will need to be a time for soul searching and reflection in America.
There are clearly issues around gun crime and gun control that need further discussion, as well as the legacy of race and racism in American history and memory. Equally important, people of good will and Christians of all ‘colour’ and creed need to come together in solidarity and seek constructive ways to engender greater community cohesion.
This violent act of hatred should not divide the community of Charleston. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that haters always lose in the end, for ‘the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice’.
We stand in sympathy and solidarity with the families and friends of all those who perished at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and pray that justice and peace will prevail and that people will continue going to church without fear.
NCLF Steering Group:
Pastor Ade Omooba (Co-Chair) Dr R David Muir (Co-Chair) Bishop Dr Joe Aldred Rev Celia Apeagyei-Collins Dr Marcus Chilaka Dionne Gravesande Pastor Mabs Nkumu Dr Michel Sacramento
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1. The National Church Leaders Forum consists of key leaders in the African and Caribbean churches in the UK. The NCLF Steering Committee is co-Chaired by Pastor Ade Omooba and Dr R David Muir.
2. One of NCLF’s key purpose is to give greater visibility and voice to the mission of the Black Church Movement in Britain.
3. For more information or to arrange media interviews contact NCLF Administrator – Juliet Fletcher on +44(0)20 7117 2637. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Social Media: Twitter: @NCLFNEWS