As the deaths of unarmed black men in confrontations with police officers continue to mount, #BlackLivesMatter is becoming more than a movement or a hashtag — it is becoming a theology. In this, it is following in the historical footsteps of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. ReligionLink (religion journalists) looks at where and how #BlackLivesMatter is working its way into religious settings.
Social unrest, injustice and the popular movements they spark often make their way into the theology of various religions — eventually. This is true of #BlackLivesMatter, which started as a social protest movement in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and has grown to encompass the unrest, anger and desire for change in the wake of successive police killings of unarmed black men: Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and many more less-well-known individuals.
Now, #BlackLivesMatter ideology — that black lives are devalued by a broader, unjust society — is making its way into churches, synagogues, temples and other places of worship, just as the ideology of the civil rights movement did in the 1960s. This edition of ReligionLink looks at where and how #BlackLivesMatter is becoming a theology as well as a movement.
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