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Aug 3, 2021

Churches Played Part in Slavery

Philip Wright

Of the many activities held so far, an ecumenical service on August first shed light on the original actors in slavery. Interestingly, the churches played a role in slavery. In that virtual service, Bishop Philip Wright of the Anglican Diocese in Belize shared those historical details and called for change.  


Bishop Philip Wright, President, Council of Churches

“Though the British slave trade officially ended in 1807, it was not until first August, 1834 that slavery ended in the British Caribbean following legislation that was passed the previous year. Greater freedom for the freed slaves came in 1838. Even so, we know that the end of slavery and apprenticeship in the Caribbean, many were still not freed, many continued to struggle to survive and make a living for themselves and their family. They struggled to own land, develop their own communities and build a better future. It is a fact that members of our church, the Anglican Church, once served the colonizers, supported slavery and even owned slaves. We are not proud of this part of our history and neither will deny it. Yet, the decades since have seen many transformations and developments. Today, the church’s leadership consists of the descendants of former slaves, as are most of its membership. Over the decades, the church has indeed played a major role in the development of our people and the work continues. The legacy of slavery lives on, thriving in some quarters, finger-pointing and scape-goating is not the solution, of course; rather a zero tolerance for any system, mindset, disposition or philosophical basis that seeks to denigrate and dehumanize another is absolutely necessary.”


Nigel Encalada

Nigel Encalada, Director, Institute for Social and Cultural Research

“I firmly believe that churches have an important role to play in the society. It is one of those organizations that has the ability to assist people spiritually and in other ways. And this is the time where the churches should go back into the communities and to bring people into a place where we can develop. If we don’t go and claim the community, you know where the influences will come from.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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