Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland confronts racism
published on 4 Jun 2020
The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland today affirms that it stands in solidarity with people around the world (including our own members and employees) who experience racism, both in its blatantly ugly and its more insidious forms.
Our hearts are heavy and hurting because it is increasingly obvious that BAME (black, Asian and other minority ethnic) people in the UK continue to suffer institutional racism in all areas of life. Our hearts are heavy and hurting because racism infects the church – and we acknowledge and confess that this is true even in parts of Salvation Army life. We are deeply concerned by the research showing that people from BAME groups in the UK have suffered disproportionately from the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise this is a critical time and today we want to recommit to our journey of togetherness with people from BAME communities and respond with positive action.
In these days following Pentecost, and the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the world, we increasingly understand our responsibility, in the words of Jesus himself, not only ‘to proclaim good news to the poor’ but also ‘to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Luke 4 v18-19, NIV). The work of ‘recovery of sight for the blind’ and setting ‘the oppressed free’ is a priority in the fight against racism.
Consequently, The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland will intentionally seek ways to confront and fight racism wherever it is found. We will take positive action to ensure that our culture is increasingly one in which our members, employees, service users and officers, of majority and minority ethnic origin, feel included – that is, respected, valued, trusted, safe and have a sense of belonging.’
Issued by Commissioners Anthony and Gillian Cotterill, Territorial Leaders of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland.