MNN (USA) — Portland, Oregon has seen over 80 consecutive days of protest. Some of the demonstrations have been peaceful, but others have seen clashes with police (or federal agents) and property destruction.
And it’s not just Portland. Cities around the U.S. have seen large gatherings to protest the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among others) and racial injustice in American society.
Many Christians have participated in these protests and continue to participate. Anne Hamming of Tent Schools International says Christians need to view these protests with empathy. “Instead of judging the protesters . . . try to understand what would cause someone to be so angry to tear down destroy, and set fires. Simply put destruction is nothing more than a tragic expression of pain. It begins by asking how could someone become that hopeless that the remedy is to smash and tear down? I think the protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement, they’re asking us to acknowledge their very humanity and to recognize their pain.”
Racial injustice in the US
That pain? Racial injustice that has haunted the Americas for hundreds of years. But the Gospel offers a bold vision for the future. Hamming says.
“We, as people of faith, want more people to stop thinking about justice as a pie that’s only so big. Justice is expansive, it’s infinite. If only we could envision it that way.”
Tent Schools International interacts with this issue regularly in their ministry to students that have resettled in the U.S. “And many people are not aware that most of the resettled refugees that are being allowed into the United States right now are African. How can we possibly offer them safety and welcome, when in fact the color of their skin may likely lead to discrimination?”
Calling for justice
Jesus Christ is the one true King, and Christians have a responsibility not only to call out injustice in society but to bring healing through the love of Jesus.
You can get involved with Tent Schools International by visiting their website, tentschoolsint.org. Hamming says. “We have a very humble but noble mission of making sure that children who have lost their homes and homelands have access to education.”
The header image shows protests in Portland, Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Tedder / CC BY-SA https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) Photo not altered.