Local Mennonite Churches Call for Peaceful Response to White Supremacist Activity in Calgary


CALGARY - In the wake of violent demonstrations in previous years on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, Calgary church leaders are calling for peaceful responses to the rise in white supremacist activity in the city. The Joint Statement of the Calgary Mennonite Churches Concerning White Supremacist Activity in Calgary  issued today calls on Calgarians to “reject publicly and completely the doctrine of racial supremacy and hate” while affirming a belief in non-violence on both the part of white supremacists and anti-racist protestors.

In support of this statement, Calgary’s Mennonite churches are collaborating to focus their worship services on March 21 on the topic of racism and will be praying for peace. Worshipers will also be given violet ribbons to wear to express their peaceful dissent to the ideology of white supremacy and hate. Over 2,000 ribbons were prepared by immigrant youth from the Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and are planned to be distributed to worshippers at services throughout Calgary.

Through this day of worship, the church calls on all people and institutions to move toward justice, peace and compassion and to seek reconciliation between all people in the community. “We are deeply concerned about the spread of hate activity in the city and the rise in violence associated with it,” stated Doug Klassen, Chair of the Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial Association which issued the Statement and organized the initiative. “We believe we are called to speak out against injustice and advocate for peace, and witness against all forms of violence,” Klassen said.

The Inter-ministerial invites all who wish to express their peaceful dissent to the white supremacist ideology to wear a violet ribbon on March 21 as a symbol of their beliefs.

Issued by the Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial Association
c/o Foothills Mennonite Church, 2115 Urbana Rd. Calgary, AB T2N 4B9
(403) 289-7172

and

Mennonite Church Alberta
the Evangelical Mennonite Conference
Mennonite Central Committee (Alberta)

For more information contact:

Doug Klassen
Calgary Mennonite Inter-ministerial
Phone: 403-289-7172

Kim Thiessen
Mennonite Central Committee Alberta
Phone: 403-275-6935 / 888-622-6337