Calls for Church of England to raise £1bn to make amends for historic links to slavery labelled 'anti-Christian'

5 March 2024, 06:59 | Updated: 5 March 2024, 07:05

The proposed fund has been described as 'anti-Christian'
The proposed fund has been described as 'anti-Christian'. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A push for the Church of England to make amends for its historic links to slavery has been criticised as 'anti-Christian'.

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Wealthy families and investors will be asked by the Church to build up a £1bn fund, in a bid to address "enduring harms from enslavement".

A report published yesterday found that a recent £100m fund for reparations was not enough, calling instead for a fund worth ten times that amount.

Reverend Ian Paul labelled the calls for a larger fund "anti-Christian" and claimed those behind it have a "death wish" for the Church.

A report has called for a £1bn fund for the Church to address slavery history
A report has called for a £1bn fund for the Church to address slavery history. Picture: Getty

The independent report read: "Community engagement confirmed the view that £100million will be insufficient for this purpose.

"The Church Commissioners have therefore embraced a target of £1billion for a broader healing, repair and justice initiative with the fund at its centre."

Those behind the report also expressed their hope that the Church adopting their recommendations would force other institutions to confront their history with slavery.

Read More: Calls for Church of England to raise £1 billion to address slavery legacy after £100 million deemed 'insufficient'

Read More: Church of England is hiring a £36k-a-year 'anti-racism' officer to 'deconstruct whiteness'

Dr Paul, who works on the Archbishops Council, labelled the recommendations "quite extraordinary" and said African Christians will be "very angry" reading the report.

"It appears to be based on an essentially racist reading of history – that white people are all bad and the oppressors, and black people are nothing more than victims," he said.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Picture: Getty

"This is insulting to both black and white. It is anti-Christian. Unbelievably, it calls on the Church to repent for having preached the gospel.

"African Christians, including the vast numbers of Anglicans in Africa, will be very angry to read that. The authors of the report appear to be completely ignorant of the Church's own beliefs.

"It will imperil local ministry and mission. Why would ordinary churchgoers continue to give to their local church when it appears we have these vast sums to throw around? Whoever commissioned this report appears to have a death wish for the Church of England."

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