There are disturbing images from the USA at the moment: rampant racism, riots in dozens of cities, a US president posing with the Bible in his hand. In this difficult times our solidarity is with our sisters and brothers in the US struggling against rassism and for human rights in the campaign „Black Lives Matter“.
The church president of Hesse-Nassau, Volker Jung, has expressed concern about the latest political and social developments in the USA. The violent death of George Floyd by a policeman has shaken people around the world. Like many others, he observed with growing concern an „escalation of violence and a US leadership that provokes and does not de-escalate“. In a video conference David Gaewski, the conference minister of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) in New York, would have „reported on the anger and the riots after the death of George Floyd by the brutal police violence“. He also told of a moving online service in which people expressed their despair at the police violence and the violence at the protests. People cried together and sought comfort in prayer.
Partner church UCC involved in „Black Lives Matter”
Jung expressed the solidarity of the EKHN in this tense situation to the partner church in the United States. It was „impressive how the UCC has been particularly involved for decades in anti-racism work and the ‚Black Lives Matter‘ campaign“. Jung: „Racism poisons societies“. Especially in view of the past Pentecost it was clear that the biblical message showed a different way. „God’s spirit wants to comfort and strengthen. He wants to connect people across all borders to a worldwide community. I am thankful that we are united in faith and in the partnership of our churches. Together we try to witness God’s love for all people in this world.“
Donald Trump and the Bible in his hand
Jung also criticized the recent press meeting of US President Donald Trump in front of a Protestant church in Washington, where the politician demonstratively held a Bible in his hands. Jung agreed with the position of the partner church in the USA, „that faith and the church were here in an intolerable way instrumentalized for their own political purposes“. The UCC had stressed in its statements how „absurd it seemed to be that a president who saw permanent discord used the Bible as argument.” Jung: „At the heart of the Bible is charity.“
More on this topic also in the current video statement of the UCC church president John Dorhauer on YouTube: