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Remembering George Floyd

It’s been a year since the harrowing murder of George Floyd in broad daylight on the streets of Minneapolis. Worldwide protests sparked by Floyd’s death will go down in the books as a modern-day civil rights movement, and the events of 25th May 2020 will forever be etched in history.

Churches and organisations across the UK held prayer gatherings to commemorate the anniversary of Floyd’s death. Churches together England galvanised Christian’s to pray the #CandleofJustice prayer at noon. “As people lit their candle and prayed in their communities, I pray that their commitment spans beyond the anniversary of George Floyd and will take them on a journey of playing their personal and institutional part to tackle racial injustice and challenge the toxic supremacy that hinders the image and flourishing of all,” said Shermara Fletcher, CTE’s Principal Officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations.

Pastor Patrick Ngwolo (Floyd’s former pastor) led the UK’s Sankofa Collective in partnership with The Crush Racism Challenge to kneel in prayer for 9 minutes 29 seconds, (the duration of time that Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck) asking for racial healing and for His kingdom to be manifested within all the races. In a video posted on Instagram Ngwolo shared: “I am reminded of the words of Dr King who said; in the middle of all the work that we are doing, let us not relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love, so to do that we will love our enemies and pray for them.”

Speaking to Premier about Floyd’s faith, Ngwolo remarked: “..his particular story was not one of perfection, but one of redemption. He had come up in the neighbourhood, a really hard neighbourhood and to see what God was doing with him, taking other young men and saying hey put the guns away. I saw him mentoring these young men - what we call discipleship….”

The common sentiment across social media these past few days has been whether anything has changed in the last year. Many will say no, given that police brutality and systemic racism are still the norm. Rev Nims Obunge, Senior pastor of Freedom’s Ark and 2021 Independent London Mayoral candidate however prefers to see the glass as “half full” rather than “half empty.” “The conversation is being had. Change does not come easily. Change will come through a process, but I think that people are being much more sensitive to the issue, so I think we are on an upward trajectory, but we’ve got more to do.”

Written by Akosua DF, Premier Gospel Presenter

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