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Federal Council of Churches Urges Fight on Racial Prejudice in the United States

Designating the month of February as Brotherhood Month to combat racial discrimination in the United States, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ today issued a call to all churches to assist in the fight against racial prejudice. The message emphasized that “the insidious development of anti-Semitism” and other racial problems in this country “cry out for Christian treatment.”

To build a “nation and a world where there shall be no discrimination on the basis of color, creed or national origin,” the message outlined twelve “musts” for Christians.

1. We must realize that we have moral obligations to all men.

2. We must demonstrate in practice our belief in the intrinsic worth and dignity of every human being.

3. We must recognize that lines of division based upon color alone are unjust and tyrannical.

4. We must substitute pride in the human race for racial pride.

5. We must break away from the prejudices of convention and caste.

6.We must make sure that every public measure to improve the quality of life of our people shall apply equally to all citizens.

7. We must insure, in so far as legislation can, equal opportunity in every kind of useful work for all persons of equal skill and energy.

8. We must make sure that the life of a person, his standing in the community and ability to meet his needs is not made to depend upon race or color but only upon character and willingness to contribute his best.

9. We must oppose all charlatans and demagogues, giving no quarter to those who would fan into flame racial animosities.

10. We must support with counsel, service and material resources all constructive efforts for equal justice and opportunity for all.

11. We must sponsor study groups, forums, fellowship in worship and other interracial means through which men learn cooperation in meeting common needs and mutual interests.

12. We must make sure that in our churches those of every race and people shall be welcome to full membership and fellowship.

“Economic, social and political factors undoubtedly play a large part in every case of race conflict,” the message says. “In the last analysis the problem is moral and spiritual. The Church can, if it will, furnish leadership and spiritual motivation sufficient for this task. Brotherhood Month calls upon the Church to furnish those ‘honest and friendly workmen’ who will build a nation and a world where there shall be no discrimination on the basis of color, creed or national origin and where every man shall strive for the good of others, loving his brother as himself.”