A Joint Statement and Call to Prayer Regarding Continued Racial Injustice and Extremism, From Our Executive Minister and the Moderator of the AUBA

Monday, January 18th, 2021—Rev. Dr. Peter Reid, CBAC Executive Minister, and Rev. Dr. Rhonda Britton, Moderator of the AUBA, released a joint statement condemning the violent riot in Washington D.C. and calling us to pray for peace and justice amidst the rise of similar extremism in Canada.

Peter Reid shared this statement:

Many of us were disturbed and saddened by the violent attack on the United States Capitol that took place a number of days ago.

Regardless of political persuasion, there is no excuse for such flagrant violence and disregard for democracy and the rule of law. We stand with all those who condemn the violence and those who are shocked by the poisonous words and the anarchistic behaviour that threatens the long held institution of democracy in our closest neighbor and ally to the south.

While we believe in free speech and the inherent right to peaceful protest, this grotesque aberration can only be seen as a blatant attempt to violently overthrow the results of a free and fair democratic election. We are cognisant of the persistent racial undertones underlying the current violence. For this reason, we felt it was critical that we offer a joint statement. I am so pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Rhonda Britton, the Moderator of the African United Baptist Association and soon to be President of the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada to speak to this issue.

We call on all Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada to pray for the people of our great neighbor, the United States of America. We pray for reconciliation and, the healing of toxic divisions in the nation; as well as a peaceful transition to the new Administration in the days to come. We call on Atlantic Baptist people to pray that extremist, far-right factions in Canada will be eradicated and to continue to pray for an end to racism in all forms.

Rhonda Britton shared this statement:

Our concern is not only for the storming of the US Capitol. It is also and primarily for the far-right extremist groups cropping up all over Canada in solidarity with the insurrectionists in the US.

Hate lives here in Canada. WHITE nationalists are here, in this country. By their support of the extremists in the US they are demonstrating their support for the disenfranchisement of Black voters in a free and fair election. Citizens concerned with their elected officials voted like never before. That is democracy in action. Yet only the votes in key areas heavily populated by Blacks have been labeled illegal and illegitimate—suspicious in some way—by far-right extremists. Enslavement, Jim Crow, the prison industrial complex, and current voter suppression and disenfranchisement—this is racism in its progression over the centuries. Now that Blacks are mobilized, realizing that our votes count, white supremacists want to take our votes away. That is not how democracy works. We take our stand at the ballot box. Our vote is our voice. That is democracy.

Therefore we in the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia JOIN with our CBAC family in condemning these assaults on democracy. We appeal to every one of our churches and to every Christian to uphold our Christian values of loving God and loving neighbor, doing no harm to others and certainly not attempting to destroy the freedoms and privileges of democracy we all enjoy. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” Family, let love abide. Thank you.