Segregation in the Church
Today I read a statistic that said that 9 in 10 churches are racially segregated. This was striking to me but then I thought about how many of our communities in America are still segregated. I found this map that shows the extreme racial segregation in Chicago and other large cities in the United States. If our neighborhoods and communities are segregated, it is no wonder that our churches are segregated.
But why are we still this segregated in the United States? I watch the horrific videos of police brutality during the civil rights movement and wonder what led people to have such hatred for someone of a different color. Then I see the hatred still present in our communities. Champaign is definitely a segregated city. There have been a string of attacks in our city led by a few black men who target white adults at night. I read the comments on our newspaper’s website and see the intense hatred and racism of some in our city. They demand an armed public to fight off these black teenagers. Did we not learn anything from our past?
But I do have hope for the future. The teenagers I see on a regular basis are looking beyond racial lines. We have a free lunch for local high school students in our church fellowship hall and I see a multi-ethnic gathering that is not segregated. I see my kindergarten daughter getting beyond her uncomfortableness with the black students in her class to now saying they are her best friends. I see our white downtown church that was at one time known as the “country club church” reach out and host the Boys and Girls Club after school program. Hillary and I are feeling a tug to move to the north side of Champaign so our daughters can grow up in a multiethnic neighborhood.
My hope is that our generation can lead a movement to make Dr. King’s dream a reality in our neighborhoods, communities and churches.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
– Martin Luther King