Black pastor Reverend George Hargreaves, leader of the Christian Party is to take on BNP leader Nick Griffin in a live debate to be televised on Revelation TV.
Reverend George Hargreaves is standing against Nick Griffin in the coming General Election as MP for Barking. He is also debating with Mr Griffin on Revelation TV tonight for one and a half hours from 9.00pm until 10.30pm.
Reverend George believes that the election of any BNP MP will be detrimental to black and minority ethnic Christians and to the wider church in general.
Colonial Christianity & its effects today
Few people will disagree that the Christian church in Britain was shaped by the expansion of the British empire.
The Christian church’s evangelical mission to Africa and other parts of the non European world was structured along the belief that Europeans were superior to other races and this mission was spread by violence and war, forced on Africans and other non European races worldwide.
In an article on the Ekklesia website on December 18, 2007, World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Council for World Mission (CWM) took part in a conference about the Christian church’s role in enslaving Africans. More importantly in a statement the World Council of Churches admitted that not only did the Christian church actively play a role to enslave Africans its refusal to acknowledge the devastating affects of the African slave trade today has not helped “in eradicating white supremacy, systemic racism and the ongoing legacy of the transatlantic trade in Africans.”
In July 1999, the Bishop of Stepney, the Right Reverend John Sentamu accused churches in the UK of institutional racism (BBC: 13 July: 1999).
He said that the church in general “maintained a white educated elite at its core which did not reflect the make-up of the congregation.”
In another blow to UK church racial relations in August 2001, retiring Reverend Rajinder Daniel, one of the first priests from an ethnic minority to be ordained in the Church of England, spoke out against the racism in the church.
In a radio interview with BBC’s Radio Leicester, Sandra Herbert, the reverend said “The church is racist to the core and continues to be today. I have been turned down by at least three parishes because they wanted a white priest…I have been turned down for funerals, weddings and baptisms.” (BBC: August 29, 2001)
Separating the term I refer to as colonial Christianity from Christianity in Britain today is arguably difficult. The two are clearly related and explain why the BNP targeted white Christians back in April last year in the run up to the European and local elections.
The BNP said that the Church of England was being persecuted and equated that persecution with the party’s own religious values. They targeted London’s Oxford Street with digital posters and Billboard sites across the country on major motorways ahead of the Easter holidays, including the M1, M25, M11 and A127.
The message read, “Britain is a Christian Country. Vote to keep it that way!”
The BNP clearly sees a link between Christianity and white racial ideology, a disturbing association which forces British Christians to examine what it is they really believe.
While Reverend Hargreaves will defend Christianity from being hijacked by the far-right tonight it is hard to disagree with the fact that British Christianity has a history of racism and continues to harbour aspects of that ideology deep within the psyches of its white British followers.
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