FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, November 2, 2020
Contact: Heather Cirmo
Initiative Encourages Christians To #BeThePeacemakers Amid Election Divisiveness
ATLANTA, GA – The Prayer & Action Justice Initiative, a diverse coalition of Christian organizations and leaders, today announced an effort to promote peace and civility during what could be a divisive election week. The group was created in August to advocate for racial justice and nonpartisan criminal justice reform amid this summer’s unrest. Next week’s initiative aims to help the Christian church unify the nation during the potential unrest of a national election.
From Sunday, November 1 to Sunday, November 8, this initiative is calling on Christians to be political peacemakers – to pray every day for our nation’s election, the candidates, and our leaders; to become informed and to vote; to serve the local community in some way; and to be civil and gracious in our tone both in personal conversation and on social media.
“While political elections are very important, and their impact affects many aspects of life, Christians shouldn’t let them distract us from our commitment to unity, healing and community uplift,” said Justin Giboney, President of the AND Campaign. “Our ultimate hope is not in any politician, but rather in Jesus Christ and what He’s done for us. So, it’s vitally important for us to speak and act accordingly. No matter who they voted for, we invite Christians to come together to join this effort by engaging in peaceful dialogue, and advocating for justice during this election week. No matter what happens, we commit to pray, serve, and be peacemakers.”
Various Bible scriptures inform this election week campaign. Two key passages are: Matthew 5:9, which says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” and Ephesians 4:3, which says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
“In prayer God reminds us of this truth: there is more that unites us in Jesus Christ than divides us in politics” said Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice. “On election day and every day after, we are invited to respond to God’s call to do justice and love our neighbor through prayer and by working for the well-being of our political community.”
The Prayer and Action Justice Initiative was originally spearheaded by the AND Campaign and includes the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), National Association of Evangelicals, Prison Fellowship, World Relief, Movement Day, Pulse, and the American Bible Society, among others. The effort involves prayer gatherings, peaceful protests, nonpartisan public policy advocacy, and support for at-risk churches, largely in minority communities.
Throughout this political season, various members of the Initiative have provided guidance for practical Christian political engagement. In early October, the National Association of Evangelicals and World Relief announced a guide for Christian political engagement called For The Health of the Nation. Next week, the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) is offering a daily political themed prayer guide called Prayers for Our Political Community. From November 1 until Inauguration Day, CPJ will share prayers on its website, on social media, and via email on topics like election workers, judges, clerks, elected officials, theological truth, injustice, unrest, state officials, and federal workers.
The Prayer & Action Justice Initiative invites any Christian or Christian organization to join this #BeThePeacemakers campaign next week. Membership with the Initiative is not necessary.