I have the privilege of serving on the Save Darfur Coalition board of directors. Save Darfur is a coalition of more than 180 faith and nonprofit communities committed to ending genocide in Darfur and Sudan and to ensuring peace, security, and justice in the region.
As executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, I know that several of our partners have shared in the One Night One Voice project that lifted the plight of Darfuri women subjected to sexual exploitation. Some have asked me to explore service support opportunities to complement our advocacy work. I have reached out to Save Darfur about how we can align project possibilities with our policy efforts and expect to have a good working model.
Since 2004, the faith community has united for the people of Darfur. Although these actions have drawn much needed attention to the crisis in Darfur, Darfur was, and still is, a moral imperative that calls to our conscience.
It is now 2009, and while our advocacy has been a powerful moral force, we are now at a crucial moment for Darfur.
The faith community’s commitment not to stand idly by in the face of genocide and mass atrocities calls for us to be a voice for Darfur again. Our community knows too well the peril of global indifference. We should not permit “never again” to be a mere slogan. We need to reaffirm and strengthen our commitment to this cause.
The month of April is a special time for our community. April is not only Genocide Prevention Month, but the month where the Christian community celebrates Lent and Easter. We encourage you to urge the Christian congregations in your area to reflect on Darfur and to honor the past during sermons by acting now for Darfur.
Save Darfur Coalition and its faith partners will host a series of events across the country to demonstrate the power of the constituency of conscience demanding an end to the Darfur genocide and the start of a just peace in Sudan.
Your congregations can participate in the coalition’s Month of Sermons and Service by hosting or including Darfur in your events, reciting prayers for Darfur, signing postcards and joining Save Darfur’s Congregations of Conscience network. I also hope that you will connect with other concerned congregations and citizens in your community to invite them to your events, or attend theirs.
Log on to www.savedarfur.org/actnow to register your event for Darfur and download the complete event and faith toolkit for involvement. The toolkit includes background information, sermon notes and links to other resources. While there, link to the Save Darfur faith page and become a Congregation of Conscience. Questions can be directed to email@example.com.
Lott Carey is making special efforts to do the following:
- Have African-American churches sign up as a Congregation of Conscience at www.savedarfur.org/faith.
- Host an event or sermon for Darfur on the weekend of April 19.
- Register their event on our web site at www.savedarfur.org/actnow.
There are modest grants available for assistance for those who may need the support under the event section of the link in item three above. We are thankful for your work for justice for sisters and brothers in Darfur. We would be grateful for your support in sharing this information broadly throughout your networks.
Please remember our global partners through your prayers and gifts as the Spirit inspires you. We advance the mission of Christ as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
David Emmanuel Goatley is executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.
David Emmanuel Goatley is Research Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies and Director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School.