On Saturday 14 March, more than 300 people gathered in a church building called Transformation House, in south-east London, to celebrate the launch of the first-ever political manifesto representing a Black Christian voice.
The Black Church political mobilisation: a manifesto for action, published by the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF), aims to mobilise church and secular leaders to help bridge the gap between youth culture and the government, and get more young people engaged with politics.
The report said, ‘Justice is central to biblical teaching and indeed intrinsic to our understanding of who God is’. However, years of distrust and discrimination has led people to believe that politicians in the UK will not speak out for the voice of minorities.
According to the report, Christians can help young people overcome that perception. It said, ‘As part of wider social and moral education, churches and their leaders have an opportunity and a responsibility to teach and reinforce the values and virtues of active citizenship, community cohesion and a healthy respect for authority’.
The co-chairmen of the NCLF and joint authors of the manifesto, Dr R. David Muir and Pastor Ade Omooba, said the manifesto ‘encapsulated what we think is the general Christian vision of the common good, regardless of party politics’.
Speaking at Transformation House, they addressed leaders from some of Britain’s largest African and Caribbean Churches and sector organisations, which included Pastor Agu Irukwu of Redeemed Christian Church of God and Rev. Yemi Adedeji, director of the One Commission, part of the Evangelical Alliance (EA), as well as EA general director Rev. Steve Clifford.
There were also political representatives present, who endorsed the 40-page manifesto, including Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham.