“A TIME TO BREAK SILENCE”

“A time comes when silence is betrayal…”

– Martin Luther King, Jr

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift,” he proclaimed, “is approaching spiritual death.”

Georgia Black Clergy Statement:

As Black faith leaders in Georgia, we stand with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Black Church prophetic tradition. In that tradition, we claim that it is impossible to speak about God and remain silent about the current terror and injustice in Gaza. Together, we demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to this war. Since October 7, we have witnessed in grief and horror the unprecedented atrocities and violence against the Palestinian people in Gaza. According to the United Nations, the Israeli occupation forces have killed more than 23,000 people, the majority of whom are children and women. More than 59,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been wounded. More than 1.5 million are permanently displaced. The health care system has been demolished. More than 1,000 health care providers and nearly 80 journalists have been killed. Over 500 mosques and three churches have been destroyed. Meanwhile, hunger and disease threaten those whom bombs have so far spared. Just as the violence against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7th was unacceptable to us, so is the ongoing violence against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

As we approach Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, we recall  his prophetic denunciation of the Vietnam War on April 7, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift,” he proclaimed, “is approaching spiritual death.” Instead of the “revolution in values” Rev. Dr. King called for, we see ongoing bipartisan support for spending billions of dollars  on war while the basic needs of people here at home and abroad go unanswered. 

Rev. Munther Isaac, a Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem, recently preached that, “If Jesus were to be born today, he would be born under the rubble in Gaza…and if we as Christians are not outraged by the genocide, by the weaponization of the Bible to justify it, there is something wrong with our Christian witness, and we are compromising  the credibility of our gospel message.” His words echo Rev. Dr. King’s in 1967: “A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.” Now, we say, that time has come in relation to Gaza. 

We, the undersigned Black faith leaders, call on our senators and representatives to ask President Joe Biden to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, full access to humanitarian aid into Gaza, and release of all hostages. We also call for an end to the military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. We pray that our leaders will have the courage to break their silence and do what is right. The people of Palestine must have a path to a permanent and just peace.

STEERING COMMITTEE:

Samia Abdulle, Rev. Fahed Abu Akel, Rev. Leo Seyij Allen, Rev. Keith Hammond, Fonta High, Azka Mahmood, Rev. Timothy McDonald, Paul McLennan, Rev. Wendy Torres, Rev. Emilee Walker-Cornetta, Rev. Darryl Winston

SIGNEES:

Rev. Timothy McDonald
Bishop Reginald Jackson
Bishop Thomas Louis Brown, Sr.
Bishop Robert Wright
Dr. Jamal Bryant
Rev. Neichelle Guidry, Ph.D.
Rev. Kimberly S. Jackson
Rev. Darryl Winston
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley
Rev. Shanan Jones
Pastor Keith Hammond
Imam Plemon El-Amin
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale
Rev. Dr. William Flippin, Sr.
Dr. Joe Beasley
Rev. Dr. Alonia Parks
Rev. Dr. Fahed Abuakel
Rev. Leo Seyij Allen
Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson
Pastor Monte Norwood
Mike Sabbagh
Rev. Keyanna Michelle Jones
Rev. David Anthony Spencer, Jr.
Fr. George Makhlouf
Pastor W. Tina Trice-Culpepper
Dr. Mario Hazboun
Rev. James Woodall
Kasin Hamilton
Imam Nadim Ali
Imam Furqan Muhammad
Rev. Amber Lowe
Pastor Derrick Rice
Pastor Vonnetta L. West
Min. Tiffanie Mackey
Pastor Orlando Scott
Arabia Sweet
Rev. Renetta Hobson
Rev. YaNi Davis
Rev. Kimberly G. Walker
Rev. Dr. Vance P. Ross
Rev. Barry Graham
Dr. Ade Graham
Imam Sulaimaan Hamed
Elder Bernice Kirkland
Assoc. Min. Shaun Heckstall
Rev. Corey Brown
Marques Fletcher
Elder Darrel Williams
Teresa Pugh
Rev. Christine Chavis
Pastor Dr. Jéan Ward
Rev. Wendy Torres
Rev. Barbara Summerville
Pastor Dessie Pulliam
Rev. Zavobe Neith (Oyen’ike) Sankofa
Rev. Thomas A. Mitchell
Rev. T. Renee Crutcher
Rev. Dr. Maisha Handy
Pastor Maressa Pendermon
Pastor Juakena Winston
Rev. Dr. Michele Williams
Min. Edwin Stafford
Bishop Keith Farmer
Pastor Ricardo Richardson
Rev. Richard N. Williams
Evangelist Harralyn Swinger-Rawls
Rev. James Rawls, Jr.
Rev. Tierney C. Ridley
Pastor Samuel White
Rev. Darrell Elligan
Rev. NaDine Rawls
Elder Shuan Smith
Bishop Greg Fann
Bishop Carl McCrae
Rev. Donald A Yates, Jr.
Rev. Christopher Johnson
Rev. Elizabeth Hill
Rev. Carlton Taylor
Elder Gloria Nash
Rev. William Thomas
Pastor Berlinda A. Hart Love
Dr. Shirlena Crum
Pastor Edward Randolph
Presiding Elder Billy McFadden
Rev. Richard Stewart
Rev. Dr. Andre’ C. Loyd Jr.
Pastor Velma E. Grant
Bishop Dexter Johnson
Rev. Brendolyn Jenkins Boseman
Rev. Dr. Monica Spencer
Rev. Dr. Sherry Austin
Rev. Marben Bland
Mrs. Cynthia W. Ingram
Pastor JD Sparks
Dan Crain
Bishop Craig Oliver
Dr. Babs Onabanjo
Bishop Juandolynn Stokes
Pastor Jermaine Smith
Elder Jerome Case
Rev. Deborah Nutt
Rev. Thomas L Hart
Pastor Ethan Seifried
Dea. Mary Margaret Hill
Jabari McKie
Bishop Sonya E. Williams
The Rev. Linda Gattis
Rev. Dr. Will Hayes
Alonzo Middleton
Pastor Wilbur Purvis
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Gilmore
Pastor Gregory Bentley
Rev. Gloria Wynds
Rev. Hodari Williams
Rev. Frederick Forsh
Pastor Vanessa Hall
Rev. Gregory Willams
Pastor William Strickland
Rev. Dr. James Alexander
Pastor Norman Thomas, Jr.
Pastor Dr. Craig E. White, Sr.
Rev. John G. Byrdsell
Rev. Jay Slaughter
Pastor Eric Hurst
Rev. Dr. Anton Rowe
Bishop Carolyn Horton
Rev. Fr. Gabriel Tannous
Rev. Dr. Elias Dorham
Rev. Dr. Antonio Proctor
Rev. Betty Williams
Rev. Dr. Lewis Logan, II
Shante Michelle Whittaker
Brother Carlos Ford
Majilis As-Shura Muhammad Jihad
Superintendent Dwight Shields
Pastor C.O. Adams
Dr. Brenda Smith
Dr. Louis L. Ferguson
Bishop Rosa L. Wiliams
Dea. Tony R. Graves
Pastor Anthony Motley
Elder Tyrus Russell
Rev. Celeste Wells Alexander
Imam Ihsan Muhammad
Rev. Valerie Showell
Pastor Leonard  Daniels
Rev. Johnny Toney
Elder Patricia Toney
Rev. Delores Wynn
Rev. Phillip Dannoamon
Mujahid Mukarram
Don Mahmood
Rev. Keith L. Alexander
Rev. Dwight Andrews
Rev. Juandolyn Stokes
Aly Char
Irfan Sheikh
Dr. Hani Khoury
Iffat Walker
Shelby Hall
Eman Kadur
Rev. Dr. Phyllis Hatcher
Jane E. Thomas
Syliva Ayoub
Andre Loyd
Barbara Campbell
Evelyn D Brown
Sarah Quraishi
Rahim Snow
Prof. Dr. Hani Khoury
Tanjina Islam
Rev. Richard Hill
Selma Tahboub
Imam Mansoor Sabree
Minister Johnathan Mingo-Crutchfield
Sara Webb Phillips

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