From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Church leader's regret over Stephen Lawrence silence

From "EAUK Press Office" <>
Date 15 Oct 1998 07:52:57

For Immediate Release: Thursday 15th October

One of the UK's leading Christian leaders has expressed his
regret over the Church's silence over the Stephen Lawrence

Speaking to the public inquiry into the police's handling of
Stephen's death, Rev Joel Edwards, general director of the
Evangelical Alliance UK, said: "Although much has been done
within the Christian community to educate and resist racism both
within the Church and society, we also acknowledge that with few
notable exceptions the Christian Church has been significantly
silent in this case. It is a silence which many of us deeply

Joel Edwards was commissioned as general director of the
Evangelical Alliance, which represents the collective voice of
more than one million Christians in 30 denominations, last
October, making him one of the most senior black churchmen in

At today's public inquiry, he called on the Metropolitan Police
Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, to acknowledge institutionalised
racism within the police force.  He said:  "It is unfortunate
that the Commissioner who has made serious efforts to combat
racism and corruption did not acknowledge the reality of
institutionalised racism in a service which still stops a
disproportionate amount of black people in the community and has
a high percentage of black cell deaths.  

"We understand the Commissioner's concern to avoid all his
officers being painted as racists, but the Inquiry should think
seriously about the wider dangers of having the Metropolitan
Police absolved from the claims of institutionalised racism,
particularly when it is acknowledged that society and even the
church has recognised the widespread presence of institutional


For further information, contact:

Gavin Drake,
0171 207 2117 or + 44 171 207 2117

Jill Howard,
0171-207 2116 or + 44 171 207 2116

Evangelical Alliance UK,
Whitefield House,
186 Kennington Park Road,
London, SE11  4BT - General - News Releases - latest hot-news

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