O n behalf of all Seventh-day Adventist Church members in the Trans-European Division, our heartfelt sorrow and sympathy go to the family of George Floyd. An unarmed black man, Floyd died on 25 May after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly complained that he could not breathe.
His horrific death has caused a heartfelt outpouring of protest and concern from people, not just in the USA, but world-wide, under the slogan, ‘I can’t breathe’. This includes protests outside the US embassies and in various cities and countries in our Division, including Denmark, Poland, and the UK.
Floyd’s death is just the latest in a series of killings such as those of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky that demonstrate the dangers of racism in a divided society. In harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America we condemn such actions of hate and violence and call for justice to be served for the victims and their families. We further call for concrete action that can radically move all citizens towards a more equal and mutually supportive society, both in the USA and in the cultures where we live and serve.
While we do not condone the reaction of looting and rioting as seen on our TV screens, we do understand the underlying frustration and pain resulting from being marginalized in society.
As Christians we believe in a God who loves unconditionally, who gave his only Son so that no one need perish (John 3:16). We accept the words of Paul that “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
We call on our church members and communities everywhere to seek ways to build community, break down barriers, empower the marginalized and speak out against hatred and injustice.