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Inter-faith groups kick off voter engagement campaign

Worshipers sing at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church
Posted at 11:03 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 07:52:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Faith in Indiana, a group of religious leaders, held its first Faith and Power Revival Friday night. The event kicks off a campaign encouraging people to get out and vote in November.

"This history of the Black church is rooted in social justice," Timothy G. Taylor said.

Taylor is the senior pastor at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist, where the revival is being held.

He's one of more than 20 pastors who have set the goal of collectively speaking to 30,000 Black Hoosiers about voting in the coming weeks. Taylor is hoping to use religion to empower young people. He thinks empowered young people are more likely to take their opinions to the ballot box to raise their voices.

"My family is from Louisiana, and they had to fight for that vote more so than we did in the North. And it's so important that young people realize the value of that vote," he said.

Voter turnout in Indiana has historically been low. In 2018, the most recent midterm election, 51% of registered voters cast their ballots. But many wonder if hot-button issues like abortion, inflation, and gun control will get more voters engaged this year.

"They do want to go to the polls and voice their opinion about what's been going on in our legislature and what's happening in the state of Indiana," Taylor said.

"I've been to revivals before, but I've never seen one focused on social justice and the spiritual aspect before, so that's what enticed me," Dyrek Chowning, who is attending the revival, said. "I think a lot of time in our faith we can forget that Jesus was a radical. He did go against the grain. He was against political tyranny."

Chowning hopes that Faith in Indiana succeeds in getting more voters to the polls.

"I think what's important about voting, especially in the Black community, is showing that we are involved, showing that it is a matter we care about it, and the more we show that we care about it, that does speak something on a systematic level," he said. "And that can inspire others in the community to show what they care about."

The midterm election is on November 8. Voters must register by October 11 in order to be eligible to vote in this election. You can register and find your polling place here.