Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leaders and pastors across the country released a statement Sept. 6 condemning individual and systemic racism and renewing the 1,800-church movement’s commitment to “seeking out authentic relationships across racial lines.”
The statement, signed by more than 100 pastors, reacts against violence that occurred at a white supremacist rally in August in Charlottesville, Va., and looks forward to a new partnership of black and white Baptists called the Angela Project commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. The project kicks off Sept. 11 with a gathering in Louisville, Ky.
The new Statement Concerning Racism in our Nation recalls a proclamation of confession and repentance passed at the very first CBF General Assembly in 1992 rejecting racism in the present and acknowledging institutional and denominational sins of the past, three years before the Southern Baptist Convention passed its famous resolution on racial reconciliation on the 150th anniversary of the SBC’s founding by slaveholders.
In addition to the statement, CBF leaders unveiled a new racial justice resource for congregations and individuals to promote education, engagement and advocacy in response to events in Charlottesville.