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Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial Association calls for peaceful response to local white supremacist activity

   

Released by the Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial Association,
with Mennonite Church Alberta,
the Evangelical Mennonite Conference and
Mennonite Central Committee (Alberta)
March 19, 2010
Derek Cook

CALGARY, Alberta —In the wake of violent demonstrations in previous years on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, Calgary church leaders are calling for peaceful responses to the rise in white supremacist activity in the city.

The Joint Statement of the Calgary Mennonite Churches Concerning White Supremacist Activity in Calgary issued today calls on Calgarians to “reject publicly and completely the doctrine of racial supremacy and hate” while affirming a belief in non-violence on both the part of white supremacists and anti-racist protestors.

In support of this statement, Calgary’s Mennonite churches are collaborating to focus their worship services on March 21 on the topic of racism and will be praying for peace. Worshipers will also be given violet ribbons to wear to express their peaceful dissent to the ideology of white supremacy and hate. Over 2,000 ribbons were prepared by immigrant youth from the Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and are planned to be distributed to worshippers at services throughout Calgary.

Through this day of worship, the church calls on all people and institutions to move toward justice, peace and compassion and to seek reconciliation between all people in the community. “We are deeply concerned about the spread of hate activity in the city and the rise in violence associated with it” stated Doug Klassen, chair of the Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial Association which issued the Statement and organized this initiative. “We believe we are called to speak out against injustice and advocate for peace, and witness against all forms of violence” Klassen said.

The Inter-ministerial invites all who wish to express their peaceful dissent to the white supremacist ideology to wear a violet ribbon on March 21 as a symbol of their beliefs.

To read the complete statement, see http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1289