The issue of migration is at the forefront of many minds given the recent media reports of refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea, children and youth fleeing poverty and violence in Central America, and the surge of refugees seeking work or asylum in Europe. General Secretary Ivan Abrahams spoke on this issue at the recent France-Switzerland-North Africa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (download the transcript), and the WMC has received reports of many of our member churches responding as well. Below are two highlights.
Free Methodist Leaders Respond to Immigration Decision By U.S. Federal Appeals Court
This story was originally published at fmcusa.org.
On May 26th the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, denying a request from the Justice Department to allow President Obama’s Executive Order on immigration to go into effect pending appeal. The Executive Order would have provided a means by which approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could have applied for programs to ease deportation threats. The ruling means that the president’s Executive Order cannot take effect while the matter is being appealed.
The Board of Bishops of the Free Methodist Church issued the following statement after the Circuit Court’s ruling: “Today a federal court ruled against the executive order that would have delayed the deportation process against millions of undocumented workers in the USA. The Free Methodist Church continues to urge citizens and their legislators to find a fair and just way to treat guest workers. We believe that the building of a strong economy must be done in concert with Biblical justice. We believe that our laws must always reflect a love for “our neighbors as ourselves.” Therefore we ask Christians of all political allegiances to lay to one side those allegiances and to support reform to our laws which would create a legal path for guest workers and which addresses with compassion those workers whose families are divided by deportation proceedings.”
For further information on Biblical principles regarding justice and the treatment of immigrants, click here for statements from the Study Commission on Doctrine of the Free Methodist Church-USA.
The Methodist Church in Britain Encourages Churches to Offer Support to Migrants
This story was originally published 01 July 2015 at www.methodist.org.uk/news-and-events/news-releases.
Following on from a Notice of Motion presented to this year’s Methodist Conference, all Methodist churches are being encouraged to provide support to at least one individual or family crossing Europe from the Mediterranean fleeing from conflict.
The Revd Olufemi R W Cole-Njie, who proposed the motion, said “Social action is at the heart of Methodism. When people are in need it is our role as the Church to step-up and help the hungry, the weak, the stranger. Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in fear for their lives. How can we on one hand say that we welcome Jesus into our lives, and yet on the other not welcome those in need?”
In addition to encouraging its own churches to do more, the Conference has urged the Government to accept asylum seekers on a much larger scale, commensurate with Britain’s size and resources.
Praising the enormous contribution that migrants and refugees make in Britain, the Conference welcomed the recent Statement by the Conference of European Churches that encouraged European Churches and Institutions to support refugees, and applauded the ongoing efforts of the Churches in Greece and Italy, particularly for the ‘Mediterranean Hope’ project.
The Revd Stephen J Burgess, Chair of the York & Hull District, added “What this practically looks like will be different in each community and for each church. But in putting this forward, we are encouraging and reminding our churches to fulfil the words of Wesley: ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all places you can.'”
- The Conference of European Churches is an ecumenical fellowship of Churches in Europe. The statement regarding those fleeing war can be read here
- The Mediterranean Hope project is the Mediterranean observatory on migration based in Lampedusa, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy
The Methodist Church in Singapore’s Ministry Among the Ethnic Indian Migrant Community
The Rev Anil Samuel is Pastor-in-Charge of Singapore Telugu Methodist Church.
As Christians, how should we view the various people from aboard who have come to the shores of Singapore to work and live?
Singapore receives these immigrant friends to this beautiful land as fellow Asians who will contribute their skills and talents to the country and in turn be blessed. Those who come aspire to work well and stay here to earn their living. Singapore, the land of opportunity, becomes a home and a safe haven for many of them.
Factors such as a new work environment, friends from other nations, a diverse community, a wide selection of food and various shared social practices inspire them to adjust and adapt quickly to living in Singapore…