12th July, 2016
Following an unprecedented week of racial violence across America, which included the ambush and murder of five Dallas Police officers, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is calling churches across the US to become agents of peace and to rise up and become a light to the world, standing as “a bright city on a hill,” as commanded by Jesus in Scripture.
“We live in dark times. The events that led to the deaths last week of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and five law enforcement officers in Dallas showcase the evil and chaos that is prevalent in our world,” said Rev Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC. “As we begin a new week, now is the time to turn away from the darkness of hatred, bigotry, violence and intolerance and turn toward the light of love, truth and justice.”
As a part of that challenge, NHCLC is calling for churches to “be light,” by working with African-American pastors and churches in their corresponding communities to address issues and concerns while simultaneously constructing a preventive multi-ethnic firewall against disparities in law-enforcement practices and emphasising the image of God, or Imago Dei, inherent within all individuals - regardless of race.
“We can either spend days, months and years condemning the darkness or with convicted deliberation we can turn on the light of love and forgiveness,” said Rev Rodriguez. “For when light stands next to darkness, light always wins.”
Additionally, beginning this autumn, NHCLC will launch the National Christian Leadership Conference, a multi-ethnic, Christ-centered, Bible-based coalition committed to a Christian civil rights movement focused on life, religious liberty, racial unity and educational equality.
NHCLC/CONEL is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organisation, which serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in more than 40,000 US churches and hundreds of thousands of additional congregations spread worldwide throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.
- DAN WOODING, ASSIST News Service