Presbyterian Church Acknowledges 'Racial Sins,' Repents

| by Nicholas Roberts
First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens (founded in 1662)First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens (founded in 1662)

The Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) recently passed legislation to repent for racist actions taken during the civil rights era.

Despite the fact that the PCA was not founded as a formal Christian denomination until 1973, the overture reads that "there were founding denominational leaders and churches who not only failed to pursue racial reconciliation but also actively worked against it" during the 1960s, according to Christianity Today.

The legislation reads, according to the Religion News Service:

[T]he 44th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America does recognize, confess, condemn and repent of corporate and historical sins, including those committed during the Civil Rights era, and continuing racial sins of ourselves and our fathers such as the segregation of worshipers by race; the exclusion of persons from Church membership on the basis of race.

The PCA had already confessed "covenental involvement" in the "heinous sins" of the past in 2002 but did not take responsibility for specific denominational offenses, Christianity Today reports.

The PCA also acknowledged teaching that the Bible permits segregation by race and discourages interracial marriages as well as its involvement with white supremacist organizations, the Religion News notes.

The historic vote took place in June -- the same month that Southern Baptists held their annual meeting and adopted a resolution that condemns and repudiates the use of the Confederate flag.

Sources: Religion News, Christianity Today / Photo Credit:

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