BALTIMORE, MD – Today in the Washington Post, Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief, issued an open letter of repentance regarding the vile acts of hatred and terrorism Charlottesville and our greater nation experienced this past weekend.
“As a white evangelical leader, I have said too little on racism. I ask forgiveness. This malignant racism has lingered far too long. In white churches across America, we have told ourselves that we have made great strides, but this has proven untrue,” said Scott Arbeiter in the letter. “As white Christian leaders and pastors, we must also acknowledge our unintended but clear complicity in this.”
As an organization that embraces and promotes diversity and service to all, World Relief grieves the affront that racism is to the dignity of all. For over 70 years, World Relief has empowered the church to serve the most vulnerable with passion and a sense of deep privilege. World Relief renews that commitment today recognizing the challenge is greater in the United States than previously understood. Arbeiter continued, “We will do so in our practical ministry and through our relationships. We will do so in our advocacy for just laws and our rejection of unjust systems that perpetuate poverty, exclusion and bigotry. And we will do so in our partnership with thousands of pastors in our network and beyond, calling them to also act with renewed moral clarity and courage.”
Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief, adds, “The foundation of our work throughout the world is a belief in the dignity of each person as made in the image of God. Our defense of this dignity is not new. Rather, this letter reflects the long-held values of our World Relief staff as lived out in practical ways over many decades. However, in this moment of national consequence we wanted to go on record and declare once again who we are.”
World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services.