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UK black churches gear up to help Haiti

Black church leaders are due to meet the government minister responsible for Britain’s aid to Haiti, to discuss how to rebuild the stricken island.

Evangelical pastors resolved to play a greater role in Haiti following a meeting last week with Rev Al Sharpton (pictured above), organised by Operation Black Vote.

Seven top figures from Britain’s African and Caribbean churches will discuss the situation with international development secretary Douglas Alexander in Westminster later this afternoon.

The black churches also plan to redouble their fundraising efforts by organising a major music concert in London.

The meeting with Alexander – due to take place at 5pm today – was organised by Tottenham MP David Lammy. Lammy sat alongside Rev Sharpton last week when the civil rights leader discussed a greater role for UK and US churches in Haiti.

David Shosanya, a Baptist Minister and host for the State of Black Britain Symposium, told OBV Blog it was important that the church play their part in the reconstruction.

He said: ‘The African Diaspora in the UK can help in the co-ordinating of activities so we don’t waste resources. We can have a role in discussing how policies will work in practice.

‘Churches should send people to visit [Haiti] as well. A lot of their ministers are traumatised because they’ve lost loved ones as well. We can provide pastoral care for those fatigued by trauma.’

Christian figures taking part in today’s meeting include Bishop Joe Aldred of Churches Together in England, Pastor Nims Obunge from the Peace Alliance, and R.David Muir from the umbrella group Evangelical Alliance.

More information on the planned concert to follow…

LH

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