|A UMNS photo by Linda Green
Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union pose for a photo
after approving a letter to the U.S. government calling for intervention
in the Sudan.
Nov. 23, 2004
By Linda Green*
(UMNS) — Five Methodist denominations are calling on government and
international officials to establish a peace process in the war-ravaged
country of Sudan that “holistically considers the concerns of all
Sudanese parties and ethnic groups.”
has created deep brokenness throughout the world, the Commission on
Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union noted in an open letter to U.S. and
United Nations officials. “Particularly, we are distraught that tens of
thousands of God’s people in Darfur, Sudan, die from preventable famine,
disease and violence as part of state-sponsored genocide.”
commission, meeting Nov. 19-21, urged that the leaders respond to the
humanitarian crisis, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives and left
more than 3 million people at risk. The open letter was addressed to
U.S. President George Bush, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.S.
Secretary of State designate Condoleezza Rice, and U.S. Ambassador to
the United Nations John Danforth.
Methodists, believing there is no holiness but ‘social holiness,’ we
urgently call for the establishment of peace and security throughout the
nation of Sudan,” the commission said. “It is clear that there can be
no resolution to the humanitarian crisis until there is a broader plan
for regional stability brokered by the United Nations Security Council
and the African Union.”
Commission on Pan Methodist Cooperation and Union represents five
strands of American Methodism – the African Methodist Episcopal, African
Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Union
American Methodist Episcopal and United Methodist churches. The body
represents more than 15 million Methodists worldwide.
A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose
Jay Williams is an advocate for human rights in Sudan.
Jay Williams, a
United Methodist from New York and advocate for Sudan, introduced the
idea of a commission response to the crisis in the African country.
After he highlighted conditions there, particularly in Darfur, the
commission approved a letter to the Bush administration and U.S.
Congress “to implore further diplomatic pressure to urge the government
of Sudan to withdraw all government-sponsored raiding entities and
dispatch necessary and adequate peace enforcement personnel to Darfur.”
commission’s function is to highlight ways the Methodist bodies can
cooperate in various areas and discuss how to move toward union by
redefining and strengthening the entities relationship in Jesus Christ.
who has helped liberate Sudanese slaves, told the Pan-Methodist
commission that as it engages in unity, it should not ignore the
disunion, suffering and strife in the Sudan and other places in the
the commission is primarily African-American Methodist denominations,
the people of color, the people that look like us in Africa, are being
slaughtered by the day. As people of faith, we are called to respond,
but as people of color with faith, we are called to respond even more,”
noted Jesus’ admonition to care for the “least” and the fact that
numerous people stood up for African Americans throughout slavery and
suffering in America, he said. “We have to respond … as a prophetic
voice of witness when the rest of the world has turned their backs on
Bishop E. Earl McCloud Jr. of Atlanta, chairperson of the commission,
stressed the importance of the group responding to the Sudan crisis.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he said.
Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.