08 July 2008

Methodist Church condemns UK Government's failure of Zimbabwean refugees

The Methodist Conference has condemned the UK government's failure to care for Zimbabwean refugees and is urging the Government to immediately stop all deportations to Zimbabwe and grant indefinite 'right to remain' to Zimbabwean refugees.

The Conference expressed support for all international efforts to bring about a peaceful, sustainable democratic future for Zimbabwe.

Kevin Fray, World Church Secretary for Africa, says; 'We are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of all people. With this in mind, it is right that the Church expresses solidarity with all Zimbabweans at this time.'

Local churches are being invited to contribute to the Fund for World Mission to help the Zimbabwean churches respond to urgent humanitarian needs in the country. The churches have requested funding for a lorry for aid distribution and secure transport of Methodist ministers to their new stations. An initial gift raised by the Conference's Sunday offering will be sent to support this. Resources will be made available to help Methodist churches in Britain understand the ongoing situation and respond appropriately.

The Conference has also directed that these concerns be brought to the attention of the British Government, United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

In 2008 the British Methodist Church has sent solidarity grants totalling more than £70,000 to support humanitarian work in Zimbabwe.

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