All people are created in the image of God. Therefore, we believe that people of all races have an inherent dignity as an individual who reflects the image and purpose of God.
Two fundamental values of Tearfund Ireland are to release people from poverty and to speak up for those who are unjustly treated. Racism is an injustice. Systemic racism is a structured evil designed to trap people in poverty, oppressive indignity and denied opportunities.
No person, no matter their status, title, rank, uniform, nationality, gender or colour, has the right to oppress another. Any expression, form or inclination toward racism and discrimination is wrong; it devalues human life and is contrary to God’s heart and intention.
Not only do we stand against all forms of injustice, but we actively seek to bring justice and peace. We do not wish to be counted among those who merely tolerate the differences in our human distinctiveness. Rather, we celebrate our diversity; embracing the variety in culture and tradition recognising we are matured through one another’s uniqueness.
As children of God we look for ways to demonstrate the Father’s love, grace and truth to those around us. We follow Jesus' example of doing good, reversing the works of evil and being ministers of reconciliation. We accept Jesus’ commission to go into all the world reminding others what he taught, to be salt and light and to actively seek that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Father, as we witness the events within the United States we lift our prayers for that nation. We recognise that racism exists in the heart before it is acted on. We recognise it exists in every nation; help us reject this evil and purge it from our hearts and patterns of thought.
Give us compassion to grieve with those who mourn the loss of loved ones; for those who have been injured or suffered damage to property. Help us stand up for the despised and those who have experienced oppression, injustice, ill-treatment and any form of aggression by the hand of others.
We pray for peaceful demonstrations; for a willingness to listen; for courage to be humble; for respectful honesty and the strength to demonstrate honour and value for the other.
We pray for leaders who serve and unite; for police who protect; for voices of wisdom and justice to emerge and for a radical shift in the systems, culture and mind-sets which suppress people of colour.
Help us understand the depth of the hurt, fear, isolation and censorship people of colour have experienced. Enable us to see, realise and acknowledge any way we have contributed to this unjust treatment of our neighbour. Give us the grace to repent and willingness to change our perspective.
As your Church around the world, give us strength to be humble and the conviction to be a model of racial healing. Give us discernment to pull down the strongholds of thought which perpetuate injustice. Grant us courage to build bridges and perseverance to walk the long road of change.
Holy Spirit, remind us of who we are. Help us embrace our call to be ministers of reconciliation as we seek the restoration of all things. Empower us to demonstrate the multi-faceted wisdom of God as we celebrate your gifts in each person, striving toward unity and maturity, growing into the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Cover Photo: Aaron Burden