Social-justice agency deplores shootings, unrelenting racism of killings in Charleston, S.C.

church_and_society_ZB3GPNQMThe General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church joins with people of faith everywhere in praying for the victims of the brutal, senseless shootings Wednesday night of nine members of the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. The victims, including the pastor, were killed during a weekly Bible study at a church known as “Mother Emanuel,” and whose centuries-long history includes notable civil rights involvement.

Our hearts are broken for our Methodist sisters and brothers in Charleston.

We deplore the epidemic of gun violence that continues unabated in the United States. This tragic occurrence of firearms-related killing is further exacerbated by the unrelenting evil of racism: All the victims were black. The U.S. Dept. of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are launching a hate-crime investigation into the killings.

Our United Methodist Social Principles declare that racism “plagues and cripples our growth in Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself.” This heinous act in a church during a Bible study reinforces our resolve to stand steadfastly against such evil.

We pray for God’s comfort for the families of the victims and the members of Emanuel AME as a whole, and we continue to pray for God’s shalom for this world.

The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
(Member of United Methodist South Carolina Annual Conference)
General Secretary
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church

Bill Mefford
Director of Civil & Human Rights
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church

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Richard Hicks
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Christians in Rawanda didn’t need guns. In thirty days, blacks-on-blacks beat 400,000 to death. If one is going to focus on one city/county/state, where are the agency’s stats to back up their claims of racism. In the past decade in Charleston, what percentage of whites were murdered by whites, blacks by blacks. Most violence up to and including murder goes on in our own homes, families, bars, with “our own kind.” This agency’s message although well intended is misinformed or purposefully misleading being based upon the bigotry(ies) of the agency’s leadership. Thank you.

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