“You cannot have King without King’s God” declared Edwards during a service at Westminster Abbey in London today.
Joel Edwards, who retires from his post later this year, is the first black Director of the Evangelical Alliance, a body representing over one million British Christians of all denominations. He is also a commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
At the service, held 40 years to the day since the assassination of Dr King in Memphis, Tennessee, Mr Edwards described Dr King's faith in Jesus Christ as central to his fight for justice and to his non-violent activism. He pointed out King was not only a Nobel Prize winner, but also a Baptist minister, and that those who surrounded him recognised the importance of his faith.
Mr Edwards said that to ignore King’s faith is to ignore the foundation for his leadership in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
“King’s dream is a dream about hope. But this dream of hope is also premised on faith”, he said. “King would never have recognised the political naivety which pretends that faith has no responsibility in the public square. Neither would Desmond Tutu,” argued Edwards at the event which was jointly sponsored by the United States Embassy, Westminster Abbey, the Peace Alliance and Churches Together in England.
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