How can Christians reach out and show solidarity to victims of racism?

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has demanded that teams whose supporters engage in racist behaviour forfeit points in the future.

This follows a weekend of football marred by two headline-hitting incidents: Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan was subjected to racist chanting in Italy and, in the UK, Sheffield Wednesday fans were seen making monkey gestures at Coventry's Kasey Palmer.

There are legal ramifications for hate crimes: both Italian and South Yorkshire police are investigating footage to determine criminal responsibility – and rightly so, because there's no place for such actions in our society (or any society, for that matter).

When hearing comments of a racially abusive nature, whether on the terraces or in any other part of life, followers of Jesus are called to stand up for anyone who's being mistreated or oppressed.

Being people of truth and justice is likely to come at a cost. For most of us, that'll be a biting reply here, a cold shoulder there. In more extreme cases, it could even exact a physically violent response.

But we trust in a God of justice (Isaiah 61:8). And, as his disciples, we're called to reflect his character in all we do. As you do so, you'll be joining him in creating a more accepting society where all belong and are valued as individuals crafted in the image of God.

You might not see the impact of your courage in challenging racist comments and actions straight away, but as you champion justice and peace in train carriages, pubs, and football stadiums you're doing kingdom work, right where you are.