16 March 2015
Christian leaders celebrate first black Church manifesto
Key Christian leaders from across the UK gathered on Saturday, 14 March 2015, to celebrate the publication of a new Christian manifesto.
Black Church Political Mobilisation – A Manifesto for Action is the first official document published by the joint effort of African and Caribbean Christian leaders in Britain, and follows three years of consultation.
NCLF, the National Church Leaders Forum, has been consulting African and Caribbean Christian communities across the UK since 2012 in anticipation of the general election and in preparation for the manifesto.
Recognising the immense contribution that Black Majority Churches are having in Britain – from spiritual to community to political spheres – there was also recognition that more needed to be done to effectively serve the Church and the wider community, and to represent their concerns.
The aim of the manifesto is to ensure that black Christian voices are heard, and to resource church leaders to speak up and take action, responding effectively to the issues impacting their communities.
The publication explores nine key areas: church and community; policing and criminal justice; prisons; mental health; voting and political mobilisation; family and marriage; youth and education; media, music, arts and culture;and international aid and development. And for each of these nine areas the manifesto provides commentary on 'The Current Picture', 'The Biblical Picture' and 'Where do we go from here'. Throughout, the manifesto focuses on both the contributions of African and Caribbean Christians to these areas of British life and their aspirations for transformation in these spheres.
Recommendations are also made for local churches on the ground. These include:
- measuring the impact of their social and welfare services in the community through audits;
- promoting 'faith literacy' to help government, local authorities and policy makers understand the motivations and values of church communities;
- encouraging church members to consider joining the police service;
- facilitating dialogue with the government about the scandalously disproportionate numbers of black and minority ethnic people in prison;
- practically supporting the education and training of young people;
- committing to giving at least 0.7 per cent of their income to overseas aid and development - matching the government's commitment;
- promoting the importance of active citizenship and political engagement.
Pastor Ade Omooba, co-founder of NCLF, told The Voice: "I am excited that for the first time the black Church movement has been able to speak into the electoral debate in this way, highlighting concerns but also proposing positive steps to take.
"I hope that our political leaders who have expressed so much interest in the black community's vote are now prepared to listen and discuss these recommendations."
The Evangelical Alliance's One People Commission has seen key church leaders come together to produce an inspiring video encouraging Christians to show up and engage with politics, at both the 2015 general election and beyond.
Featuring Bishop Wilton Powell, Bishop Eric Brown, Steve
Clifford, Pastor Yemi Adedeji, Chine Mbubaegbu, Pastor Samuel Cueva, Pastor
Steve Uppal, Pastor Modupe Afolabi and Pastor Ong, the
video is available to view and share via our election website.
Yemi Adedeji, director of the One People Commission, said: "As key church leaders in this nation, we have a great responsibility to come together to focus on the common and most pressing needs of churches from across denominations and ethnicities.
"We have been brought together for such a time as this - to get politicians to take notice of the Church; to rally the Church itself to be excellent in all God has called us to do;and to equip church leaders to engage the next generation - moving them from being the missing generation to the leaders of tomorrow."
Download your copy of Black Church Political Mobilisation - A Manifesto For Action now at www.nclf.org.uk