Bishops oppose racism, back immigration reform

The far-reaching statement dealt with sources of animosity in the various regions of the world where United Methodists worship.

  • In the Philippines, the statement calls for "breaking down the barriers between mainline society and tribal peoples," with equal rights in land possession and free education for all.
  • In Africa, the statement condemns the legacy of colonialism.
  • In Europe, racism is a growing problem "with political parties openly working against minority, ethnic and religious communities," the document says.
  • In the United States, the document cites a "rapid escalation of violence related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious preference."

The statement also denounced the rise of terrorism and "the religious persecution of various faith communities, including Christians."

"The church is called to decisively and directly counter these acts and engender and empower a 'perfect love that casts out all fear,'" the statement says, citing 1 John: 4:18.

Addressing persecution

The statement also denounced the rise of terrorism and "the religious persecution of various faith communities, including Christians."

"The church is called to decisively and directly counter these acts and engender and empower a 'perfect love that casts out all fear,'" the statement says, citing 1 John: 4:18.

"This is a statement that helps us to speak up in our areas," said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of Germany, "by taking the spirit and our common witness as a council to say that we as people of faith stand up against racism, which unfortunately is all over the world."

*Hahn is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: Heather Hahn, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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