Tag: black churches

Muslim Organizations Raised $100,000 To Rebuild Torched Black Churches

Church fire
(Source: Photo by John Tlumacki / Getty)

Muslim organizations have banded together to raise $100,000 in an effort to help rebuild Black churches in the South that were torched in recent months, the Huffington Post reports.

Three organizations — the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Arab-American Association of New York and Ummah Wide — launched the “Respond With Love” campaign July 2 to raise funds, combating a false and long-standing idea of a Islam/Christianity feud. The campaign concluded at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Post writes, with a total of $100,470.

“ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe,” the campaign stated.

From The Huffington Post:

The fundraiser started off with a goal of $10,000, but they hit that target within hours, Linda Sarsour, executive director of AAANY, said to HuffPost in an email. They increased the target amount a few more times, and the support kept flooding in.

Faatimah Knight, a theology student and one of the campaign’s organizers, believes “Respond With Love” went viral because it contributes to a colorful, nuanced narrative about the Muslim community. “It awakens [in] some and confirms in others that Muslims are diverse and varied and that many of our concerns are domestic concerns,” Knight wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Also, Respond with Love is an anti-racism effort and there are many people in this country who are tired of racist rhetoric and racist motivated violence.”

Sarsour guesses the majority of the donors were Muslims, based on the surnames of the 2,016 people who donated. “Our campaign gave people the opportunity to take an extra step beyond just verbal solidarity,” Sarsour said to HuffPost. “Our campaign united people of all faiths, it resonated and the fact that it was lead by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan gave the campaign more meaning and legitimacy.”

Sarsour told the Huffington Post she hopes the campaign will “encourage non-Black Muslims to support the BlackLivesMatter Movement.”

Authorities have not connected the recent swath of fires at Black churches in the south. At least one of the blazes was ruled an arson, although the FBI announced that 84 percent of church fires are not caused by arson.

article via newsone.com

Black Churches In Florida Redouble Efforts For Voter Turnout

Whitney Paul, who was a first-time voter, looked over a handout with suggestions as she waited with college friends for early voting to start in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday. (Brian Blanco for The New York Times)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Rev. Eugene W. Diamond of the Abyssinia Missionary Baptist Church here rarely pays attention to the clock when the spirit moves him to preach, but mid-sermon on Sunday, he said something unusual to his flock of hundreds: “Timing is critical, so let me hustle.”  He had already scaled back the minutes devoted to worship. Congregants had been instructed to forget wearing their Sunday best in favor of comfortable shoes because they all had work to do: moving thousands of “souls to the polls.” And they had only one Sunday to do it.  Mr. Diamond stressed the urgency in a tambourine-shaking, trumpet-blaring finale to his prayers: “Bless us as we make our voices heard!” he shouted above the music. “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”

Across Florida, black churches have responded with ferocity to changes that Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and the Legislature made to eliminate six days of early voting this year — including the Sunday before Election Day, which had been the traditional day to mobilize black congregations. In 2008, black voters cast early ballots at twice the rate of white voters, and turned out in significant strength on the Sunday before Election Day to help propel Mr. Obama to victory here.

Now, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes up for grabs in a close race, Obama supporters are counting on a newly energized black base to put them over the edge despite the tighter window for early voting. A victory here for the president would defy recent polling and make his path back to the White House much easier.

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Heritage Tourism Publishes Black Churches Guide For D.C.

Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County has committed to preserving the legacy of the church with a guide of African- American churches in the Washington D.C. area.  Entitled “Community Cornerstones: A Selection of Historic African American Churches in Montgomery County, Maryland,” details the history of 21 historically African-American Montgomery churches. These churches, founded by free slaves, reflect the desire to create a new life after years of being in captivity and repeated violence. While most of the churches are still in use, three churches that are included in the guide are no longer standing.

Peggy Erickson, executive director of Heritage Montgomery, was inspired to create the guide after the tourism alliance filmed an Emmy Award-winning video on the Civil War last year.  “This story needs to be told rather quickly because the congregations are vanishing and the people are growing old,” Ericksen told the Washington Post.

article by Brittney M. Walker via eurweb.com