6th June, 2020– The Christian Youth Foundation recognizes the unfortunate death of George Floyd and subsequent #BlackLivesMatter protest by condemning all forms of racism in Trinidad and Tobago and the globe. We identify racism as sin and any Christian who engages in racial discrimination or harbours hatred against a racial or ethnic group must repent.
The gospel calls upon all men to repent, be baptized and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, no distinction is made based on race or ethnic group. All of mankind are equal in our fallen nature and all who accept Jesus are made equal through Him as seen in Colossians 3:11, “ Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free, but Christ is all and is in all.”
Christianity is accused of being a “white man’s religion” but those who do believe such remain ignorant of history. The greatest theologians and writers of the Christian faith were all from North Africa and were men of colour. St. Augustine of Hippo, Athanasius of Alexandria Egypt, Origen of Alexandria Egypt and Tertullian of Carthage were all North Africans who greatly contributed to the early church.
Brief historical excerpt listed here:
Athanasius was one of the key figures behind the theology of the Nicean creed who maintained that Jesus was truly God and truly man. Athanasius’s enemies denounced him as the “black dwarf” showing he was indeed a man of colour.
African people held positions as Prophets and Teachers even in the book of Acts as we see in Acts chapter 13:1 with Simeon. Acts chapter 8 also refers to the Ethiopian Eunuch who spread the gospel to Ethiopia after being baptized.
The Apostles succeeded in spreading the message of the gospel as far east as India and as far west as Spain by the end of the 1st Century. Christianity has always been a message to all people of all colours without any form of discrimination.
It is an unfortunate historical fact that the colonial powers who engaged in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade were “self-professed” European Christian nations. The legacy of slavery is to be condemned as abominable and sinful in the most extreme fashion.
To end racism will require nothing less than a complete transformation of the human heart and mind which only the gospel can achieve. Only the second coming of Jesus Christ to reign as King of Kings can end the political and ethnic strife we see in our era. Until then, the church must follow the example of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and denounce racism with a message of love and peace as we emulate Jesus Christ our saviour.
– From Jonathan Bhagan, President Christian Youth Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago