United States (MNN) — The death of George Floyd in the custody of Minnesota police has boiled over into protests across the country, followed by riots.
Christians in the United States often pray for those in other countries who face daily discrimination. But many African Americans regularly face discrimination as well, and anger from this discrimination has boiled over during the past week. See pictures from several protests here.
On May 25, George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota, died in police custody when a white officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. Anger over his death and other incidents of police brutality sparked protests around the country. In the wake of the protests, riots broke out in many cities.
George Floyd in 2016. He was killed in custody on May 25, as a white police officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The pain of Christians in Minnesota
Paul Perrault is a producer with Faith Radio Network, an MNN affiliate in Minnesota. He says the killing of George Floyd isn’t the first racial violence to bring attention to the Twin Cities. “Probably the most noted one in recent history was the Philandro Castile death, which wasn’t too far from where we’re located in Roseville, Minnesota, just south of us toward the fairgrounds in Falcon heights. That brought a lot of national attention. There were some other incidents that had been happening on and off in the Twin Cities, but this one, it just sparked a lot of anxiety and a lot of reaction.”
Christians watch the violence and pain with sorrow, grieving the racial injustice that has plagued the United States for centuries. Perrault says Faith Radio Network recently had Pastor Billy Russel on the radio. “He has been working tirelessly, trying to bring black churches and white churches together. It was a very raw conversation because he was feeling so deflated after everything that happened. . . . He can feel the pain because he went through the Jim Crow South.”
Cars burning in Pittsburgh. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons)
Christians united in Christ
Right now, Christians lament what has happened. How can the Church be part of the healing people in the United States so badly need?
Perrault says, “Just pray that the Church stays true to [the Gospel]. Also, I’m hoping that a lot of the more suburban, white churches will heed and get involved and stand with their African American brothers in the inner city.”
Christians are one in the Holy Spirit. Pray that Christians of all races, languages, and cultures will protect each other, speak out for each other, and glorify Christ together.
Pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would infect the United States, changing hearts and eradicating injustice. Perrault says, “There’s got to be unity. There’s got to be people coming together on this one, and that’s I’m praying for.”
Protestors against police violence after the death of George Floyd. (Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)