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Statement on Charleston

from The World Student Christian Federation of North America

The World Student Christian Federation of North America would like to express its sympathy for the lives lost, and its commitment to stand in solidarity with the families of those who were murdered, the communities in which they resided, the African Methodist Episcopal community, the Black communities around the world, and the world itself suffering from actions which threaten to separate us from God's Love.

As Christians we are shocked by the realization that this heinous act was committed in a Church as the people sat down to study the Word of God. We would like to remember the lives that we lost: Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Daniel Simmons, Myra Thompson, and Clementa Pinkney. We hold these lives as sacred, as if they were our own. And we hold them up in this way to make sure that they are not forgotten. These lives are nine in many that have been taken away through violent acts these past months.

We recognize that the many factors that are bringing us to this point are multigenerational and have been allowed to exist in North America for centuries. Racism is not even new to this particular church which has been a beacon to African American resistance for over a hundred years. This was a hate crime that cannot just be classified as a gun control issue, but rather needs to be seen for what it is: an act of terror.

We are called to peace and justice, and this includes asking the body of Christ to ask for justice not only in this instance, but for all others by examining the root causes. We must stand together in asking our politicians to work on changing the systems that have been built to allow racism to exist and to do serious work on the issues of gun control and systemic racism. We call on the global community to hold the United States government accountable. We no longer want words, we need action. We are appalled to see a government official stand and talk about a hate crime while flying a flag that represents hate.

We call on all Christians and all people of faith to recognize that this is an act of hypocrisy that we can no longer stand for. We call on all Christians to action. Show the African American community that their suffering is our suffering. Let us truly stand with them. As they pray, let us pray. As they cry, so may we cry. Most importantly, let us work to fight a system that is unfair. Let us walk in the footsteps of Christ and be willing to be despised and persecuted if it means that we are changing unfair systems. Let us stand for justice.

We are here. You are not alone. "Emanuel", God with us reminds us that indeed, we are not alone.

-The North America Regional Committee, World Student Christian Federation

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