AME Church statement on the murder of Muslim worshipers in New Zealand
The Hate that Hatred Produced
The murder of 51 people of Islamic faith in New Zealand by a practicing white supremacist has shocked and horrified the world. People of faith, global political leaders and people who have not lost human compassion have made strong statements against this monstrous act. The African Methodist Episcopal Church adds our voice to the cries for peace, justice, unity, and reconciliation.
We condemn this spiritual, political and moral cancer called white supremacy that is spreading throughout Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. History and current events remind us that the United States has become the breeding ground for the international growth of 21st Century White Supremacy, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, and Xenophobia directed particularly towards immigrants of color.
The AME Church remembers all too well the white supremacist who was welcomed into the Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church and killed the martyrs, now known as the Emanuel Nine. “It’s painful – but necessary! We know the pain of having a space of sacred worship violated with diabolic hatred. Weak people strike so-called ‘soft targets’ filled with strong people who permit themselves to become vulnerable just long enough to pray. The violence must stop!” asserts Senior Bishop Adam J. Richardson. We also know that faith sustains and heals. We call on all people of faith to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters to let them see that hatred in any place, and any form cannot be tolerated.
The hate that white supremacy in America has, and is exporting to the world, is the hatred that produced another white supremacist who thought he was doing his duty by killing Muslims. Is this what it means to make America great again? Council President, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson observes, “The fact that several notable American conservatives were listed in the murder’s manifesto is alarming and disconcerting. President Trump’s tepid commentary and refusal to name and condemn white supremacy threatens to continue this cycle. The AME Church insists that the continued toleration of this type of coded racist language and the murderous violence that it provokes must stop.”
Social Action Commission chair, Bishop Frank M. Reid, III enlarges on our joint mandate, ”It is not enough to send our thoughts and prayers. We call for the United Nations, Interpol, the US Justice Department and the FBI to make international and US white supremacist groups a key target for investigation. We call upon both houses of Congress to have public hearings and pass laws that would expose and stop these groups from killing more people of color and faith. The Congressional Black Caucus should lead the way in calling for these investigations”.
“Finally, the hate that hatred produced must be politically, economically, and spiritually rooted out. We stand with and grieve with our Muslim brothers and sisters and will continue to pray, speak out and act against the cancer of White Supremacy,” concludes General Board President, Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram.
Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. Psalm 37:1-2
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, President of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, President of the General Board
Bishop Frank M. Reid III, Chair, Commission of Social Action
Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Senior Bishop