On June 5, World Vision U.S. President Edgar Sandoval Sr. issued a statement on racial violence and oppression, and called followers of Christ to action:
Once again acts of racial violence in our country have stopped me in my tracks. I am heartbroken over the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and so many others, each with a name and family who is now mourning. To all who have suffered, we share in your pain and we grieve alongside you.
Hate, violence in all forms, and race-based oppression go against everything we believe as followers of Jesus Christ and as World Vision. As Christians we believe all people are created in God’s image. And as in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one suffers, every part suffers with it …” The injustices of racism that have recently become so visible are not new. They are wrong. They have been embedded in the culture and systems of our country for hundreds of years and they must end.
As a Hispanic American and the first person of color to serve as the President of World Vision U.S., I feel a strong sense of solidarity with my African American brothers and sisters. We are humbled to be in partnership with diverse churches across the United States representing an array of denominations, races, and backgrounds. And I am committed to continue to make staff diversity and equity a top priority at World Vision.
We can and should do more. We are committed to listen, to learn, and to be an ally, coming alongside the church to “carry each other’s burdens” as Galatians 6:2 urges. Together as the body of Christ, let us lament, pray, repent, and seek the Lord’s strength. May we commit to fully live out the great commandment to “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’” and “’Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12:30-31).
I pray these recent events will bring an inflection point for repentance and change in our country. I pray that the righteous indignation and love of Jesus Christ guide us as Christians and as a nation. I pray for an end to racism, to the violence in all its forms in our communities, and for real and immediate change to start.
Edgar Sandoval Sr.
Original statement posted here.
Top photo: Leaders pray together at World Vision Advocacy Summit. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Lee Love/Genesis Photos)