Black voters urged to take part in election by church

Services at the New Testament Church of God in Ladywood, Birmingham Black-led churches are growing in size and influence

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Black church leaders are launching a campaign which they say could inspire a million more black voters to go to the polls in the next general election.

Non-party lobby group Operation Black Vote has recruited church leaders to persuade people to register and vote.

It says having more black voters making their voice heard will end discrimination against the community.

And it says it is confident of meeting the target in time to affect the outcome of marginal constituencies.

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said community leaders had long struggled to persuade black people to vote.

Significant numbers of people among some sections of the community - such as black Africans - had never registered to vote and a lack of confidence in the democratic process meant turnout was often very low, he added.

Operation Black Vote claims black people face discrimination which is built into the social and economic system - illustrated by poor housing, poverty and a 55% unemployment rate among young black men.

But in communities which often suffer high rates of deprivation, black-led churches have been a success story.

Their leaders say they can harness the churches' energy and organisation to create a powerful new electorate that politicians cannot ignore.

Operation Black Vote, which focuses on voter registration, lobbying politicians and mentoring schemes says it seeks "to inspire black and minority ethnic communities to engage with our public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as education, health and employment".


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  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    42 Simpletics. Anyone who thinks black people don't face discrimination in the UK today are either completely blind to the discrimination that still goes on, or are accepting of it. Poor white people also face discrimination, but that has nothing to do with colour and has much more to do with rampant capitalism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.


    You're a bit slow aren't you?

    These churches are based in areas of the country with very low turnout at elections. These communities happen to have all but exclusivley black congregations, THAT is what it refers to.

    These churches, if they operated in white neighbourhoods, would target white non voters too.....but they don't, they are simply local to their home patch.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    37.Wicked Witch of the South West - " Operation White Vote would go down...."

    If it were a similar set up in say the estates of Plymouth, where over 99% of residents are white, there wouldn't be an issue - unless some looney brough it up.

    There's no racism in this story, just some community leaders encouraging their local community to use their vote, for whichever party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    I hope it works.

    I'm more interested in an analysis of how exactly, these people came to be demoralised, apatheticised, or whatever, into not voting in the first place though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    123.Simon Henly

    135.Simon Henly

    Have you ever spoken to a black person, do you have any idea what black issues are? I doubt you have, and I doubt you do.

    To suggest not voting is because of indifference is such a silly comment and total ignorance.

    A democracy represents all sections of society, British democracy clearly doesn't.


Comments 5 of 263


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