African Methodist Episcopal Council and the World War

One of the most interesting parts of the readings this week was the African Methodist Episcopal Council of Bishops “Address of the Great Migration (Sernett, Chapter 38).” The reading was a letter from all of the heads of the AME church to other pastors who were not in attendance of a congress about the state of the AME church and where it was going. While the great migration was the focus of the readings this week this reading takes a moment to look at the big event in the world that was also playing into the state of their congregations, World War I or the “Great War”. They believed this war was going to cause people to question their faiths and ask “Is there a God?” due to the atrocities that were occurring in Europe. The AME church takes a stance by saying that they should all continue to live holy lives and continue their faith during this time of strife. In the reading it says ” We appeal especially to those whose intellectual, moral, and spiritual guidance we are so largely responsible…..(to) the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Sernett 361).”  When the US got involved in the war, to encourage more African American men to enlist in the war effort, the government often used religious imagery or statements in propaganda to show that it was their holy duty to go to war. You can see a great representation of that here:

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With the AME Church taking a stance to continue to foster this belief in God and fighting against going to war it goes against this idea that the government is putting out in their propaganda.


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