Churches Across Britain to Mark Ten Years of Racial Justice Sunday

LONDON -- The tenth anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday will be marked by Churches around Britain and Ireland on Sept. 11.

Each year, Racial Justice Sunday is held on the second Sunday of September to celebrate diversity, reflect on racism, pray for racial justice and contribute to the Racial Justice fund, which supports projects working for equality and community cohesion and improving community relations.

The day will be observed by members of most of the major Churches in Britain and Ireland, including Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Protestant churches.

“Although it is a coincidence that the tenth anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday falls on 11 September, it is very appropriate,” said Ms Pat White, Acting Moderator of the Churches’ Commission for Racial Justice. “Attacks of New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001 and the London bombings in July this year led to very real tensions between different communities. There has been a lot of scapegoating and stereotyping. Since the July 7 bombings, there has been a huge rise in racist and anti-Muslim attacks.

“Racial Justice Sunday is about affirming that we want to live together in mutual respect, and that it’s possible to do so. It’s about saying that human diversity can be a source of strength and delight and doesn’t have to be feared. It draws attention to injustices but says we can overcome them peacefully. It says 'no' to fear, prejudice and violence, and 'yes' to diversity, love and respect.”

This annual celebration is coordinated by the Churches’ Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ) working together with the Catholic Association for Racial Justice, the Methodist Racial Justice Committee, the United Reformed Church Racial Justice Office, CYTÛN (Churches Together in Wales), the Scottish Churches Racial Justice Group, the Refugee Project of the Irish Bishops’ Conference and others. CCRJ is responsible for Asylum Voices, published in 2003, which documents the experiences of people seeking asylum.
“Racial Justice Sunday has been a success as a medium for educating on racial justice issues, but there is still much more work to be done” said Mr Haynes Baptiste, Acting Chair of the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ). “As we celebrate the tenth Anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday, CARJ would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported and contributed to Racial Justice Sunday celebrations since its inception in 1995.”

Special national celebrations will be held in London, Glasgow and Cardiff as well as hundreds of local services around Britain and Ireland.