Arkansas Online: Orlando shooting, racial unrest topics at Southern Baptist meeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Orlando shooting, racial unrest and the tension between religious liberty and gay rights are all under discussion as the Southern Baptist Convention meets in St. Louis.

Convention President Ronnie Floyd, who has made racial unity a priority of his presidency, told an audience of thousands Tuesday that he believes racism is from Satan, and it is up to churches to defeat it.

The nation’s largest Protestant denomination was founded in a split with northern Baptists over slavery, has a history of complicity with Jim Crow laws and is still 80-90 percent white. But with 15.3 million members, that translates to at least 1.5 million non-white members.

Later Tuesday, delegates will vote on a proposal calling on Christians to consider limiting or discontinuing display of the Confederate battle flag.

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