Although demonstrators are driving in from all over the country to protest a planned “white power” rally here tomorrow, most local Christians are staying home fearing violence and hate-speech.
By Bill Bray, Campus and Missions Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (ANS – August 11, 2017) – Most local churches, pastors and Christian leaders are staying away from the planned counter-protest tomorrow against a “Unite the Right” rally scheduled in two local parks in my home town of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The rallies are widely seen as style events bizarrely resurrected from another era, a kind of spiritual “zombie event” that does not represent the city’s true spirituality.
Fearing violence, most are not joining the locally organized “Congregate Charlottesville” inter-faith protest against visiting white nationalists. The protest and counter-protest stem from a number of out-of-state white supremacy groups coming here to protest the removal of the city’s famous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.
“Congregate Charlottesville,” in their efforts to oppose the visiting white nationalists, has invited progressive clergy to come here and join their demonstration against the outside “Klan” groups. Most local Christians believe that the demonstrators don’t represent the community and the event will turn violent.
A number of prayer meetings are being scheduled tomorrow away from the main demonstrations being held in two local parks. Tonight, Friday, local faith leaders are planning to meet with political activist Cornel West and visiting clergy at the St. Paul’s Memorial Church to finalize their protest plans. The iconic church is surrounded by the University of Virginia grounds.
For an interview about this topic, please contact: Bill Bray at 434-227-0811 (cell).
About the writer: Bill Bray, 70, is an author, retired foreign correspondent and frequent contributor to ASSIST News Service. He specializes in covering international student ministries and foreign missions. He has traveled to over 65 countries as a missionary journalist to report on missions and development ministries, returning to some countries as many as 30 times during his career. He welcomes exchange with readers and can be contacted by e-mail at: email@example.com
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