Pray for America
Anglican Church, Diocese of Sydney
Most Australians have watched with horror the video of a policeman crushing the airways of George Floyd as he died on the streets of Minneapolis. The anger pouring forth on the streets of every major city of the USA is evidence of deep-seated racial tension and inequity in that country. While the street violence and looting of shops is to be deplored, the needless death of George Floyd is an outrage and an injustice that needs to be addressed. I echo the call of the Primate of the Anglican Church of North America, Archbishop Foley Beach, for Christians to come together for reconciliation and peace across North America. May God have mercy on the United States, that the authorities will heed the outcry for justice, not only for George Floyd but for all African Americans who suffer oppression and inequality.
As we pray for the situation in the United States, we must also continue to pray for our own country, because the underlying racial tensions and inequalities are just as serious. Tragically, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate is more than 17 times the national average, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people account for almost 30% of those in prison. There have been more than 400 Indigenous deaths in custody in the past 30 years. We have our own shameful history of police and prison brutality against Indigenous people, which sadly re-emerged this past week, marring National Reconciliation Week. I recognise that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are feeling overwhelmed and saddened, longing for true justice to be done. I share your sadness and concern for justice, and on behalf of Anglicans across NSW, I extend my sympathy to you.
As Christians, we know that all people are made in the image of God, and deeply loved by him. In the gospel, race has no bearing – we are one in Christ. Racism and violence are grievous evils, which Christians must speak out against. I urge us all to pray for, and make every effort to further, a deep and lasting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
Archbishop Glenn Davies,
June 4, 2020