Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Exclusive - Methodist Church Reaffirms Opposition to Anti Semitism

The Methodist Conference next week will be asked to vote to re-affirm the Methodist Churches opposition to Anti Semitism. This viewpoint is not new, it was first stated by the current Methodist Church in 1943 and reaffirmed during the 1980s. Both times it was in response to actions in continental Europe and at home, where illogical fear of a religious group required the church to take a prophetic stand and condemn such actions. Outside of this the Methodist Church has been one of the most vocal religious opponants to the fascist BNP, calling out their repulsive politics as being divise and unwelcome in our society and eventually calling for no representative of the Church to be a member of this fascist organisation.

This call to re-affirm is contained in the 'memorials' in the conference agenda. However this 'reaffirmation', challenges the church to take reassess if more work to equip the Methodist people to continue to share Gods love for all.  The draft response (it won't be official until voted on by Conference but I would be shocked if it wasn't passed) concludes with

We commit ourselves

● to oppose all forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism in the church and in society;

● to seek and intensify dialogue with our Jewish sisters and brothers at all levels.’”

The Conference notes that in 2006 it directed the Methodist Council to consider, firstly, whether additional work needs to be done to make clear its abhorrence of anti-Semitism and/or, secondly, to enable Methodists to respond appropriately in local situations. The Conference directs the Methodist Council, in consultation with the Faith and Order Committee, to review these two questions and to instruct the Connexional Team to undertake additional work if that is necessary
I look forward to that vote because it reaffirms a deep commimtment and respect the church has long held towards the value of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters and continues to challenge us all to stand up against a particularly vile form of persecution which so often rears its ugly head.

To read the full memorial and history click here and scroll to page 34