"THE NATIONAL RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF AFRICAN ANCESTRY CONCERNED ABOUT DARFUR"


A BRIEF HISTORY


National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry concerned about Darfur originated in the heart and head of the Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Daughtry, National Minister, of the House of the Lord Churches. Cognizant of the people of Darfur’s suffering, death, violence, including mutilation, rape, destruction and confiscation of land and homes and enslavement, he was driven to do something about it. Also, it was disturbing to him that the people of African ancestry were conspicuous by their absence. There was an occasional appearance and/or statement by individuals or organizations, but there was no significant sustained collective involvement in what the UN called the “greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today.”

Moreover, it was particularly distressing to him that religious leaders of African Ancestry were by and large, silent or absent on this issue that many people called genocide.

The reverend had already acted on his concern. On Thursday, July 22, 2004, he asked Council member, Charles Barron to join him in an act of civil disobedience at the Sudanese Mission. After the arrest, he and others met with the Sudanese Ambassador Omar Manis. The ambassador gave assurance that the situation in Darfur was improving and offered to facilitate a trip to Sudan so that the Rev. could see for himself. The trip never occurred. The conditions worsened.

After prayer, the Rev felt led to organize religious leaders starting with leaders of African ancestry. On September 21, he issued a called for an emergency meeting on Darfur. On September 26, 2006, a number of leaders gathered at the House of the Lord Church. They were Rev. Podres Spencer, Associate Pastor Concord Baptist Church; Rev. Tomas Rivera, House of the Lord Church; Bishop Eric Figueroa, New Life Tabernacle, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. John Johnson, EOCC, NYC; Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Canaan Baptist Church, NY; Rev. Robert Foley, Sr., Cosmopolitan, Bronx, NY; Bishop Cecil G. Riley, Freedom Hall Church of God, Brooklyn, NY; Stanley Steward, St. Paul Community Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Dr. Calvin Marshall, Varick Memorial, Brooklyn, NY, and Rev. Dr. C. Herbert Oliver, Church of the Covenant, Presbyterian, NY and Min. Omar Wilks, House of the Lord Church, Brooklyn, NY.

Many other ministers, though they could not be present, expressed their support. They included Rev. Dr. A. R. Bernard, Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Dr. Johnny Youngblood, St. Paul Community Baptist Church and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, Allen AME Church; Rev. Dr. Gregory Smith, Mother AME Zion Church, Harlem, NY; Rev. Dr. Daran Mitchell, First AME Zion Church, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Dr. Clyde Anderson, President of Ministerial Interfaith Association and Rainbow Push Coalition, NY Chapter; Rev. Dr. Charles Norris, Bethesda Baptist Church, Jamaica, Queens; Bishop Norman Quick, Childs Memorial Church of God In Christ, NYC; Rev. Dr. Eugene Callender, Pastor Emeritus, Church of the Master, Presbyterian, Harlem, NYC; Rev Joe E. Parker, Wayside Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY; Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Abyssinian Baptist Church, NYC; Rev. Gary Simpson, Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY.

The first meeting, Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Daughtry submitted a draft statement and a 12-point action plan. The attendees agreed to accept the statement with modifications and additions. Rev. Karim Camara agreed to revise the statement. No specific action was agreed upon.
The second meeting was held on October 6, 2006 at the House of the Lord Church. Addressing the ministers were four Sudanese brothers. They were OsmanYahya, Abdelbagy Abushanab, Motasim Adam, and Rahama Deffallah who gave an update on the situation in Darfur and reported on their personal experiences.

In addition to those regularly attend the meeting also present were ministers of the House of the Lord Churches who were at their 76th Convocation. These included: Rev. Dr. Karen S. Daughtry; Rev. Dawnique Daughtry Pemberton, Bergen County, NJ; Rev. Leah Daughtry, Washington, DC; Rev. Adrial Chaney, Philadelphia, PA; Rev. Dr. Claudette Rodney, Richmond, VA; Rev. Francine Pearce, Augusta, GA; Rev. Dr. A. G. Miller, Professor of History, Oberlin College; Rev. Gail George; Min. Cynita Hickman; Rev. Alice Edwards and Rev. Tomas Rivera.

The revised statement was accepted. It was agreed that additional signatures would be sought. In addition, it was agreed that we would have a Prayer Vigil at the United Nations on October 29, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. This was enlarged into a Sudan Sabbath encouraging Muslims, Jews and Christians to make special reference to Darfur in their sermons, rituals, ceremonies, etc.

The third meeting was held on October 12, 2006. The final version of the statement was accepted. Plans for the Prayer Vigil at the UN were finalized. Added to the Action Plan were proposed meetings with the Chinese and Arab League representatives, both blatant supporters of the Sudanese government. Officers were unanimously elected. Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Daughtry, convener; Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Public relation.

Official Statement

The suffering in Darfur, Sudan has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Reliable accounts consider it a campaign of genocide which since its beginnings in 2003 has resulted in over 400,000 deaths, an estimated 2.5 million refugees forced to flee the country and others who have suffered rape, maiming, enslavement, destruction of and confiscation of properties.

This conflict is a blight on the human landscape and its horrors will continue until there is outside intervention. The crisis situation will be made significantly worse if, as they have threatened, the African Union pulls its 7,000 troops out by December 31, 2006. This will result in humanitarian workers departing as well. According to the United Nations’s Humanitarian Aide Coordinator, Jan Egeland, should these two developments happen deaths will increase from 5,000 a month to 10,000. The movie actor, George Clooney, appearing before the 15 member Security Council of the United Nations, said “After September 30th you won’t need the U.N. you will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and head stones.”

As religious leaders and members of the human family, we express our deep concern regarding this crisis. Our concern derives from our religious conviction that the Almighty God loves the people of the world, especially the powerless, helpless, oppressed, enslaved, and summons us to identify with them, take up their cause and work for change. We stand together united for righteousness and adamantly against any and all oppressive governments. Because the people of Darfur are of African origin and we are of African ancestry, we feel a special kinship. We follow in a tradition of fighting for human rights and against injustice and inhumanity in this country and continue this tradition in our ancestral home. Therefore, we join the movement of the people who have fought against this atrocity in Darfur, Sudan.

In light of the above concerns and the urgency of the matter:
We call upon the Sudanese Government and all parties to cease hostilities and unite for peace.

We call upon the Sudanese Government to guarantee an open door policy that facilitates travel and transportation of humanitarian aid.

We call upon all nations and private, philanthropic and religious organizations to expend maximum effort to enhance and improve the health, social and economic conditions of the people of that region.

We call upon the United Nations, the African Union and the United States to intervene to ensure that peace prevails.

We call upon the nations of the world to remember Rwanda. The world did little to stop the blatant genocide and to assist in recovery. President Clinton has expressed deep regret that the United States did not intervene in the crisis in Rwanda in the 1990s. It must not happen again. For hundreds of thousands of victims it is already too late.

We call on the media as the purveyors of news and information to include these issues on the national agenda.

We are painfully aware of the urgency of the crisis. The daily suffering continues. We accept the challenge to act now in any way we can with all we can. We are determined that neither regret for past non-action nor the immensity of the challenge will delay or incapacitate us. We are eager to participate with all individuals, organizations and nations who share our concern. Inspired by our faith, we believe that we can make a difference thereby achieving peace, equality and prosperity for all people of the Sudan.

Endorsed by,

Abdelbagy Abushanab, President Darfur Rehabilitation Project

Motasim Adam, President Darfur Peoples Association

Rev., Dr. Clyde Anderson, President Ministerial Interfaith Association/ Rainbow PUSH Coalition NY Chapter

Achuda Bakaar

Veronica Black Rainbow Push Coalition

Rev., Dr. James S. Bullock, Pastor Holy Sacred Baptist Church

Rev., Dr. David S. Butler, Pastor Fullness of Joy Ministries

Rev., Dr. Calvin Butts, Senior Pastor Abyssinian Baptist Church

Rev. Adrial Chaney, House of the Lord Church, Philadelphia, Pa.

Rev. Eugene Calendar, Pastor Emeritus Church of the Master Presbyterian, Harlem, N.Y.

Rev., Assemblyman Karim Camara, 43rd Assembly District Brooklyn, N.Y.
Executive Pastor First Baptist Church of Crown Heights

Rev., Dr. Charles Curtis, Pastor Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Harlem, N.Y.

Rev. Dawnique Daughtry Pemberton, House of the Lord Church, Bergen County, N.J.

Rev., Dr. Karen S. Daughtry, First Lady House of the Lord Church

Rev. Leah Daughtry, House of the Lord Church, Washington, D.C.

Rahama Deffallah, Secretary Darfur Peoples Association

Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff

Rev. Alice Edwards, House of the Lord Church

Bishop Eric A. Figueroa, Pastor New Life Tabernacle Church

Bishop Orlando Findlayter
, Pastor New Hope Christian Fellowship

Rev. Robert L. Foley, Jr. Cosmopolitan AMME Church

Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister The Riverside Church, New York

Rev. Robert J. Forster, Sr., Associate Pastor Bethel Evangelical Church

Angel Garcia

Rev., Dr. Allen K. Hand, Sr., Associate Minister
Little Rock Baptist Church

Rev. Cynita Hickman, House of the Lord Church

Rev., Dr. Dale Irvin, President NY Theological Seminary

Rev., Dr. William James
, Pastor Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church

Bro. Samuel R. Jones

Rev., Dr. Calvin Marshall, Pastor Varick Memorial Baptist Church

Rev. Bernard Mayhew
Ministerial Interfaith Association

Hon. H. Carl McCall


Rev., Dr. A.G. Miller, House of the Lord Church/ Professor of History, Oberlin College

Rev., Dr. Daran H. Mitchell
, Pastor First AME Zion Church

Rev. Charles Norris, Sr., Pastor
Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church

Min. C. Herbert Oliver Church of the Covenant

Yahya Osman, Secretary General Darfur Rehabilitation Project

Rev. Joe L. Parker, Pastor Wayside Baptist Church

Rev. Francine Pearce, House of the Lord Church, Augusta, Ga.

Todd Pemberton

Rev., Dr. Jasper E. Peyton
, Pastor Bethany Baptist Church

Eld. Everton Pigott, friends of The House of Prayer Acts of the Apostles

Sis. Janice Prince, friends of The House of Prayer Acts of the Apostles

Bishop Norman Quick, Pastor Childs Memorial Church of God in Christ

Bishop Cecil G. Riley, Freedom Hall Church of God

Rev. Thomas River, House of the Lord Church

Min. Thomas Rivera, House of the Lord Church

Rev., Dr. Claudette Rodney, House of the Lord Church, Richmond, Va.

Bishop Jasper Rolle, Abundant Life Church

Rev., Dr. Luonne A. Rouse, Pastor Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church, Harlem, N.Y.

Khari Russell, representative for Hon. Carl McCall

Remi Saunders, United African Congress/ Rainbow PUSH

Mary Cannon Screen, Director Bantu Decorative Art

Gloria J. Simmons

Rev., Dr. Gary Simpson, Pastor Concord Baptist Church

Rev., Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Sr., Pastor Mother AME Zion Church, Central Harlem, N.Y.

Rev. R.K. Smith

Bishop N. Snipes, friends of The House of Prayer Acts of the Apostles

Rev. Podres Spencer, Assoc. Pastor Concord Baptist Church

Bishop Theodosia Stevens, CEO Relections of the Covenant Youth Organization

Bro. Stanley Stewart St. Paul Community Baptist Church

Oronde Takuma Black Veterans of Social Justice

Archbishop Pamela Taylor Divine Order of Saint Anthony

Rev. Marcel Antonio Welty
, National Council of Churches USA

Min. Omar Wilks, community liaison House of the Lord Church

Rev., Dr. Darryll Young, Senior Pastor Siloam Presbyterian Church

Rev., Dr. Johnny Youngblood, Senior Pastor St. Paul Community Baptist Church/ Mt. Pisagh Baptist Church