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What should Christians do now riots are over?

SOCIETY IS undergoing some major soul searching, looking into the causes of the riots, how to punish the rioters and what measures need to be taken to stop them from ever happening again.

Although many young Christians were shocked by the riots they are keen to see the church play a part in addressing some of the problems that gave rise to the disturbances such as, anger against the police, poverty, educational underachievement and poor parenting. They also want the church to reach out to disenfranchised youth.

Marcia Dixon spoke to some young Christians to find out how they would like the church to respond to some of the problems that have been highlighted by the riots and the strategies they feel should be implemented to deal with disaffected youth. Here are their responses.

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SOTONYE DIRI


EDUCATION: Sotonye Diri says alienated young people must learn how the political system works if they are to achieve change

SOTONYE DIRI, 25, is an author, motivational speaker and young entrepreneur. Her business SD Enterprises puts on events to help inspire young people to achieve their dreams. She said “If the young people want to get justice from the government and gettheir voices heard, then it’s extremely important that they educate themselves about the political system and use the power of their vote to bring about change rather than using violence. I also believe that it is fundamental that the black community become self- sufficient, so that we are able to offer jobs to our young people and be in a position to educate, mentor and empower them. It’s time that churches, community groups, youth clubs and elders come together in unity to devise strategies, to help our young people.”

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JAKE ISAAC


ACTION NEEDED: Faith without works is dead says Isaac

JAKE ISAAC, is a leading praise and worship leader and founder of i=change, an organisation that encourages young people to be the change they would like to see in society. He organised a youth prayer service in response to the riots. He said “I believe there needs to be a stronger emphasis on the scripture but ‘faith without works is dead’. Due to the kind of society that this generation has inherited, the church will have to get a lot more stuck in and sacrifice more time and money into the younger generation and support projects that encourage education, mentoring and single parents. Unfortunately, I don’t think we should be surprised at the riots as they are a physical manifestation of issues that have been building up over the years. What happened last week was definitely not what God wants for this generation, and it’s up to us as the church to respond and be even more proactive in bringing the hope and love of Christ into broken communities.”

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SAMUEL KAMUSU


ENGAGE: Kamusu says the church’s message has to connect with different communities

SAMUEL KAMUSU is a social entrepreneur and on the management team of a £1million business. He is also the founder of youth charity Elevation Networks, and is a trustee of the Peace Alliance. He said “The church needs to run more programmes that are sustainable, that show people how to live their lives in all areas. For instance they could run programmes for single parents to give them guidance in bringing up their sons. The message of the church must be one that engages with different communities, shared in a language they can understand. It must also go beyond the black community and which touches wider society.”

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AMIE BUHARIE


FEAR: Buharie believes that “Churches must stop being scared and stop conforming to the way of the world”

AMIE BUHARIE is a columnist for Keep The Faith, a leading magazine about black Christianity, as well as being a trained actor and youth worker who works with Christian and non-Christian youth. She said “I think that churches must firstly stop being scared and stop conforming to the way of the world. God has called upon them to be salt and light, but they have blended too much. Our churches are too concerned with its internal workings and have too little concern for young people. They need to invest more time and money on young people and run youth based projects that are God centred, but which young people will find interesting. When churches address young people’s needs it helps to build confidence, and they become more receptive to God’s word. Churches must also work in partnership with each other to provide proper youth provision.”

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