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How the Church Can Invoke Change Once the Headlines Move On

By Ife Fanibi | 12 August 2020

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, cries for racism, inequality and abuse of power in our societies to be acknowledged and combatted continue to ring out around the globe. The gut-wrenching image of George Floyd’s lifeless body pinned to the ground has been etched into many of our minds, and sadly, it joins a collection of disturbing images featuring violence against black people.

Whilst there’s no denying that something about this moment feels very different, a huge part of the reason for this outcry is that events like this may be unfathomable and unjust, but unfortunately they are not uncommon. Things may play out differently here in the UK, but the root of the issue is the same, and the fruit it bears is destructive and divisive on any scale.

Many of you reading this will have come into a completely new realisation and understanding of just how deep these issues run over the past few months, and that’s okay. It’s not surprising to me that a person would struggle to get their head around racism, discrimination, and systemic injustice if it has never directly or indirectly impacted them. My hope, however, is that this period of heightened awareness makes it clear just how deep a place of hurt the issue of racism taps into for many who can relate. Whilst a light is being shone, we have an opportunity to lean in, gain understanding, and act.

If you’re anything like me, you may feel that your sensitivity to the brokenness in our world has been heightened in this season. Many of us have been be asking ourselves “What can we do?” The answer to this question is vast and far beyond what I would even know to include here, but I do believe the onus is on us all, especially as Christians, to do something.

The Word of God makes it clear that this is our issue. Isaiah 1:17 (ESV) implores us to “Learn to do right; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s case.” And the instruction from Proverbs 31:8-9 (ESV) is “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” If we believe that Jesus Christ is the one who changes hearts and transforms mindsets, right now, as his hands and feet, we have a call to action.

If the ugly truths that have been exposed in this time have shocked, disheartened or repulsed you in any way, it is essential that hurt propels you unto constructive action. If we want to see lasting change when it comes to combating racial injustice, we cannot allow the hurt, anger and frustration we feel in these moments to take root as hate and bitterness. Saying something because we feel like we ought to, or joining a hashtag campaign in the aftermath of an atrocity is not enough. If we’re not pushed beyond this point, we’ll remain heartbroken whilst this cycle continues.

“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to be free of racism to be an anti-racist…”– Ijeoma Oluo

I believe God influences the world through partnership with his people. That outworks itself in conversations we have, things we celebrate, people we endorse, policies we vote for and the way that we give – not just of our time and prayers, but our resources and finances too. 

There are many organisations fighting the cancer of racism in a variety of ways. If racial inequality and discrimination is an issue you desire to combat, I encourage you to consider how that can be reflected in your giving.

Some friends and I have created a resource pack including organisations we’re familiar with, currently working to close the racial inequality gaps that exist in our society – feel free to use this as a starting point if you’re unsure where to begin your search.

Giving can be challenging, especially at a time when perhaps there is uncertainty surrounding your finances, but Proverbs 11 assures us that when we refresh others, we are in turn refreshed, and I believe that as we give faithfully and in faith, our world is changed for the glory of God.

If we’re serious about eradicating racism, it’s going to require consistency and deliberate effort. We are one diverse body, with many gifts, positioned in various spheres to bring light to darkness and inspire change.

This is the greatest opportunity I’ve sensed in my lifetime for the Church to unite, rise, and be the picture of love and racial reconciliation that this world so desperately needs. There is no quick fix, but I’m hopeful that if we allow our faith to inform our response, we will see change.


Download the resource pack


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Posted by Ife Fanibi

Ife is a growth-pursuing, conversation-craving, adventure-embracing, moment-cherishing, people-loving British Nigerian gal born and bred in London. Though she studied and started out as a Civil Engineer, she now works as a Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Value Project Coordinator, helping the engineering consultancy she works for better contribute to the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities and society in general.

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