Church leaders call for petition support to end UK racial inequality

Church leaders are backing a new petition calling for the Government to implement existing reviews aimed at bringing about racial justice.

David Ellis
David Ellis

Regional minister for Baptist churches in Staffordshire and north Birmingham the Rev David Ellis is part of a campaign to get the matter debated in parliament following the death of George Floyd in the United States and the street protests which followed.

A video promoting the petition features Mr Ellis, who grew up in Wolverhampton, and is being distributed online among faith groups across the UK to attract 100,000 signatures.

It states: "Following the tragic events surrounding George Floyd and the subsequent awakening of many to the continuing discrimination and racism that people of colour face in the UK a group of black leaders from across the country representing many denominations and none, pulled together by The Baptist Union President looked at ways of showing solidarity against the real injustices experienced by people of colour in our communities.

"Petitioning the Government is one of those ways.

"The core leadership team of the Baptist Union also believe that this is a petition worth supporting as do other denominational leaders including black majority denominations. We are encouraging everyone to support this petition and we are asking pastors to make it accessible to all members who might wish to stand in solidarity."

"The petition calls for the Government to implement the recommendations of a number of reviews into the treatment of people of colour in our nation.

"Many individuals, as well as denominations, want to make a practical difference we believe this will give all people of God from every denomination the opportunity to do just that. We have until the beginning of January to make this petition stand and so it is urgent that you sign it.

"If enough people sign it, then it will get this petition debated in parliament."

The organisers are calling on communities to support the effort which has so far featured a protest held in July backed by numerous bodies including the Church of England, Methodists and pentecostal congregations.

Mr Ellis said the church ministers had so far held virtual meetings with Labour leader Sir Keir Stammer and Dame Doreen Lawrence and were in touch with some Conservative MPs over the issue.

So far more than 4,000 supporters have signed up via https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/327671.

A report by Tottenham MP David Lammy found that blacks were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than whites; three times more likely to be arrested; and five times more likely to face force when being arrested; were disproportionately represented in the prison population at 25 per cent. Of those half were in Young Offenders institutions. While BAME communities make up just 14 per cent of the UK population.

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