Social agency urges United Methodists to ask Congress to negotiate, not attack Syria

An action alert has been issued by the Peace with Justice unit of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, asking church members to call on Congress to oppose a U.S. military attack on Syria and support “vigorous peace negotiations” instead.

Mark Harrison, church and society executive, noted that “only a political solution to the conflict in Syria will end the suffering of its people” and cited the United Methodist Social Principles, which declare war to be “incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ.”

Church and Society’s U.N. Office also is sponsoring a peace vigil against military action on Syria from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 6 in the chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations. Co-sponsors include United Methodist Women, the Mennonite Central Committee, U.N. Office, and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

Other church leaders have expressed concern over how to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own people. The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, sent an open letter to the U.N. Security Council, also opposing military intervention.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Ecumenical Officer of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, was among 24 Christian faith leaders who signed a July 13 letter asking President Barack Obama not to pursue military force against Syria.

Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Greater Northwest episcopal area has encouraged United Methodists to heed Pope Francis’ invitation and spend Sept. 7 in prayer and fasting for peace in Syria.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief and Church World Service have been working through partner agencies for months to address critical needs of Syrian refugees, who are now leaving the country at a rate of 5,000 a day, according to new information from the United Nations.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
The Rev. Dr. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Is church separation a good or bad idea?

Separation in the church could affect Africa more than any other continent, and United Methodists must work to keep the unity of the Body of Christ.
Worship
Chase Crickenberger. Photo courtesy of the author. Mr. Crickenberger's commentary appears in the Blogs and Commentaries section of Untied Methodist News.

Online communion should not be here to stay

The church would risk further marginalizing shut-ins and others by denying them a physical experience of the Body of Christ.
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

World Press Freedom Day and the church

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.