Yesterday Americans and people around the world witnessed a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. The insurrection epitomizes the rancor and polarization present in our country. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) denounces the violence at the U.S. Capitol as well as the nation’s longstanding vices that led to this chaos.
Followers of Jesus are peacemakers. Some images from the protests demonstrate a disturbing conflation of Christianity and a nationalist ideology that is far from the way of Jesus. Christians are commanded to seek the peace of the cities where they live, to love their enemies, to seek unity and to proclaim a message of peace (Jeremiah 29:5–11; Romans 12:9–18).
Yesterday’s events, which included the erection of a noose, are another painful reminder of racism that plagues our country. We mourn the loss of lives, and we also mourn that the loss of lives may have been much greater if the protesters were a different race. We again lament the recurring trauma experienced by people of color in this country. God has endowed every individual with equal value and dignity.
The mob at the Capitol was provoked by leaders, including President Trump, who have employed lies and conspiracy theories for political gain. Evangelicals are people who are committed to truth and should reject untruths.
Evangelicals are also people of prayer. We call for a Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for the Healing of the Nation beginning January 8. We encourage our communities to pray for a peaceful transfer of power and for healing and peace in our country and world. Pastors and church leaders must also consider how to help their communities embody a Christ-like approach to politics and public life. We offer our publication “For the Health of the Nation” as a resource toward this end. God has greatly blessed our country, but much work remains. Let us join together in this time of deep need.