*American churches and religious groups appear to be interested in racism-linked reparations.
According to reports, the surge in conversation in this area is high among Protestant churches that were active during slavery. Many white religious leaders are said to be addressing how to make amends through financial investments that benefit Black Americans.
Here’s more from ABC News:
Some major denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, have not embraced reparations as official policy. The Episcopal Church has been the most active major denomination thus far, and others, including the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, are urging congregations to consider similar steps.
In October, the Minnesota Council of Churches initiative was announced, which is a a 10-year plan that aims to educate about racism in Minnesota and offer reparations to the states’s black and indigenous communities.
“Minnesota has some of the highest racial disparities in the country — in health, wealth, housing, how police treat folks,” said the council’s CEO, the Rev. Curtiss DeYoung. “Those disparities all come from a deep history of racism.”
There has been a surge of interest among U.S. religious groups in reparations, particularly among Protestant churches that were active in the era of slavery. Many are starting or considering financial investments and programs benefiting African Americans. https://t.co/NkN8rhS4L1
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2020
The Minnesota initiative also seeks to address social justice concerns of Black Americans and Native Americans.
“For so long these have been two separate camps — Indigenous people and African Americans felt they are competing against each other for the same limited resources,” said the Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, a Native American who is the church council’s director of racial justice.
Several dioceses in the Episcopal Church including Maryland, Texas, Long Island and New York, have launched reparations programs.
“What is common across the whole church is the recognition that it’s time to address and reckon with the wrongs and evils of our past,” said New York Bishop Andrew Dietsche.
The Diocese of Texas has reportedly allocated $13 million to programs that will benefit students attending seminaries or HBCU’s. The funds will also provide assistance for historic Black churches.
The Diocese of New York unveiled its $1.1 million reparations initiative in November 2019.
“We have a great deal to answer for,” Dietsche said.
Meanwhile, the bishop of Maryland, Eugene Sutton — who is Black– said he has talked with white people who oppose reparations because they’re not guilty of owning slaves.
“That is a false conception,” Sutton said. “Reparations is simply, ‘What will this generation do to repair the damage caused by previous generations?’ … We may not all be guilty, but we all have a responsibility.”