A delegation of Jamaican Christians has arrived in the UK to engage in talks with local church leaders regarding restorative justice. The voices behind the movement are urging UK churches to lend an ear to their concerns.
Jamaican Christian's Visit to the UK
A report from Premier Christian News stated that the Jamaican Christians are composed of dedicated members from the Church Reparation Action Forum (CRAF), established in 2019 as a platform to advocate for reparations within the Jamaican church community. The delegation brings a solid and unified voice to the table. They have called for church denominations involved in the transatlantic slave trade to consider providing financial restitution to black communities suffering from the adverse effects of enslavement.
Moreover, Keep the Faith reported that The CEO of Operation Save Jamaica and co-founder of the CRAF, Pastor Bruce Fletcher, stated that the discussions surrounding reparations in Jamaica gained renewed attention following the tragic killing of George Floyd in the United States in 2020. The issue of racial injustice experienced by black people worldwide was brought to the forefront of discussion, and demands for reparations were amplified with the aid of this effort. He also emphasized that numerous reports have shed light on the significant financial impact of enslaved Africans on the global economy during the Atlantic slave trade, despite receiving no compensation for their labor.
Rev. Dr. Gordon Cowans, one of the co-founders of CRAF, says it is crucial to understand that reparation encompasses more than just monetary compensation. As mentioned, Christians also seek to address the emotional and psychological harm that enslavement caused within black communities. Additionally, the delegation is set to meet with representatives from several church denominations and organizations during their stay in the UK. They would reportedly engage with The Quakers, Churches Together in England, the Evangelical Alliance, the Church of England, the New Testament Church of God, and the National Church Leaders Forum.
Furthermore, the reparations tour is being organized by a team of prominent figures, including Rev Les Isaac, the founder of Street Pastors; Professor Robert Beckford, a theologian and public intellectual specializing in racial and climate justice; Dr. Jackie McCleod, also a professor of racial and climate justice, and Bishop Troy Powell, the leader of the Church of God of Prophecy, a black Pentecostal denomination.
Transatlantic Slave Trade
The transatlantic slave trade remains a dark and harrowing chapter in human history, with profound implications that continue to reverberate today. This systematic and brutal practice involved the forced transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries. As per History.com, African men, women, and children were captured, enslaved, and packed into tightly confined ships for the treacherous journey across the Atlantic Ocean. It underscores the economic motivations behind the slave trade, emphasizing how it fueled the growth of European colonial powers and provided the labor force necessary to develop plantations in the Americas. The enslaved people were subjected to backbreaking labor on sugar, tobacco, and cotton plantations, their lives marked by unimaginable cruelty, abuse, and dehumanization.
Accordingly, the transatlantic slave trade had far-reaching consequences, reshaping demographics, cultures, and societies on both sides of the Atlantic. The article highlights the resistance and resilience displayed by enslaved individuals, including acts of rebellion and the formation of maroon communities. While the transatlantic slave trade was officially abolished in the 19th century, its legacy persists in racial inequality, discrimination, and the ongoing struggle for social justice.