After widespread backlash online, the longtime Christian charity Salvation Army has removed a controversial document from its website calling for White people to apologize for racism, Fox News reports.
The pamphlet in question, titled “Let’s Talk About Racism,” was created by the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission back in April. The guide called for all White people to “repent” for alleged past racial injustices, while also repeating the false claims that racism is “systemic” in the United States.
“While many Salvationists have acted firmly and courageously against racism,” the guide stated, in part, “the Salvation Army acknowledges with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organizational and social pressures that perpetuate racism.”
The document has since been removed from the Salvation Army’s website, with the organization releasing a statement on Thursday announcing its removal, and that the document is currently undergoing an internal review.
“Elements of the recently issued ‘Let’s Talk About Racism’ guide led some to believe we think they should apologize for the color of their skin, or that The Salvation Army may have abandoned its Biblical beliefs for another philosophy or ideology,” the statement read. “That was never our intention, so the guide has been removed for appropriate review.”
The Salvation Army also said that it does not believe “America is an inherently racist society,” claiming that such statements “are false, and they distort the very goal of our work.”
“The truth is that The Salvation Army believes that racism is fundamentally incompatible with Christianity,” the charity continued, “and we are called to work toward a world where all people are loved, accepted, and valued.”
The Salvation Army was first founded in 1865, nearly 157 years ago. The charity has since become a staple of the Christmas season in the United States, with donation collectors often ringing bells outside grocery stores and malls next to one of their signature red buckets every year in the month leading up to the Christmas holiday.