Support the Café

Search our Site

Racism learned in the Church

Racism learned in the Church

Christena Cleveland provocatively and honestly writes that everything she knows about racism she learned in church communities. Her painful stories are shared in the post, and she remains committed by grace that racism in church communities can be addressed:

As a millenial, I’ve lived most of my years in our so-called “post-racial” American church. Yet my earliest and most painful experiences of racism have all occurred in the church – at the hands of sincere Christians. And unfortunately, my stories are consistent with the stories of many other people my age and younger.

The ongoing racism in the church exposes an explosive hypocrisy. If we do not consistently and courageously confront it, the church will continue to instruct people that being different is a curse, demonstrate to them that God doesn’t love them, eviscerate their identities and compel them to seek refuge from the church outside the church. Those of us who are aware of individual and structural racism in the church must continue to point it out, facilitate discussions, speak the truth in love, challenge our pastors and leaders, pray for healing and work for justice.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Father Ron

I am bound to agree with both the writer of this article and the first commenter: Racism and Sexism have no place in the Anglican Communion. Not enough has been done to address this particular flaw in our diocesan and parish communities. Perhaps there needs to be more education amongst the laity.


As a black woman and an ordained deacon in the Episcopal church, I have experienced racism in the church. I have heard the church hold deep and meaningful conversations about race. Living them out . . . not so much. One of the things I would like to see is the Anti-Racism Training, “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other” become mandatory for all clergy and vestry members. I found it to be a well done curriculum and it started some important conversations that went beyond the routine surface discussions. This is an issue that is deep-rooted and is toxic. We have to do more.

The Reverend Deacon Emmetri Monica Beane

Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café