Rome (NEV), September 12, 2020 – In a letter addressed to pastor Gregory J. Jackson and to pastor Emmett L. Dunn, respectively president and executive secretary of the Worldwide Christian Missionary Community “Lott Carey”, the president of the Baptist Evangelical Christian Union of Italy (UCEBI), Giovanni Paolo Arcidiacono, expressed deep closeness and solidarity with the American sister communities for the climate of violence and division that has spread in the United States of America. “The tragic news that saw members of the African American community innocent victims of racist police violence and the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, left us shocked and horrified: the image we had of America as a mature democracy and a bulwark of civil rights has crumbled to give way to the image of a divided Country, in the grip of hatred and fear – writes Arcidiacono -. The civil rights won with decades of peaceful and non-violent struggles under the leadership of pastor Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and John Lewis himself seem echoes distant in time”.
The UCEBI president recalls in the letter the long-standing collaborations with “Lott Carey“, since the signing of the pact in 2005, “which brought us great gifts and spiritual riches, not least the relationship and partnership with the Zimbabwe Baptist Convention”, partnership still alive and vital today with projects such as ‘A life, a gift’, a long distance adoption program for orphan children, or financial support for the Baptist Hospital in the remote Sanyati region.
“Lott Carey” was also fundamental in organizing the 2008 “Martin Luther King” Conference and Award in Rome and in supporting leadership programs for UCEBI-affiliated African migrant churches in Italy.
“We cry and suffer for the injustice and violence to which the African American people in the United States are still subjected today – reads the conclusion of the letter – and it pains us to know that King’s dream is still far from being realized”. However, even here in Italy and in Europe “brothers and sisters are close to you in prayer in the love of our common Lord Jesus Christ”.
The Worldwide Christian missionary community is named after the African American Baptist minister and physician Lott Carey (1780-1828). A missionary leader, he founded a community in Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, in 1820. Two years later, he founded the first Baptist church there, now known as the Providence Baptist Church of Monrovia.