The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia (AUC) has joined church leaders from around the world in condemning racism and violence, as the world reels from the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
Pastor Jorge Munoz, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, released a statement on Facebook on June 2 expressing sadness over the events that had transpired in the United States, while acknowledging that “In Australia, we too are not exempt from similar issues, and as followers of Jesus we speak against a spirit of racism and of hate.”
Earlier in the week, Ted Wilson, president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, also released a statement, in which he said he had sent letters to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd on behalf of the Church. The families were also sent fruit baskets, facilitated through Oakwood University’s connection with Edible Arrangements.
Wilson said “as Seventh-day Adventists we stand strongly on the biblical principles that go against hatred, rage, racism, bigotry, evil surmising, prejudice, and more, and offered the families support, hope and encouragement through God’s church.” (Read full statement.)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America included the same names in their statement, and urged their members to do something about the violence ravaging the country.
“We urge all our church members to prayerfully consider how they interact with everyone in their communities. We ask you to speak out against injustice and hatred, just as Jesus did when He was on this earth.”
Closer to home, South Pacific Division (SPD) leadership also condemned the violence.
“Jesus stood against racism and violence, so should we,” said Glenn Townend, SPD president. “I am praying for calm to come to the troubled parts of the world and that the gospel of Jesus will be triumphant—it is in reality the only hope.”
Here is the AUC statement in full:
The recent events in the USA where a man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer have caused many to feel angered, saddened, and frustrated at the injustice of this death. Many are heavyhearted after watching such an atrocious act on their screens. A man pleading for air who just wanted to breathe. The sense of powerlessness is indeed real.
We feel for those who are mourning and especially for his family. We also pray for the entire country. May God’s Spirit impress the minds and hearts of all to be more like Christ.
In Australia, we too are not exempt from similar issues, and as followers of Jesus we speak against a spirit of racism and of hate.
As followers of Jesus we are called to create spaces where people can breathe freely in every way and feel free from prejudice, burdens and sin.
As followers of Jesus we are called to create environments where others may feel loved, wanted and reconciled in a spirit of unity.
May our hearts be tender and ready to be agents of change in our community and in our country. The need to be more like Christ is needed in our midst as never before.
Pastor Jorge Munoz
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia