15 April 2005

Statement on racism

The Methodist Group charged with responding to the threat of political extremism and racism made this statement after its consultation held in Burnley:

"As Britain approaches the General Election, when people exercise their democratic right and responsibility to vote, we restate the Methodist Church's conviction that political parties based upon racist policies are contrary to a Christian understanding of God's love.

"We ask all people, including all Methodists, to use their vote, and not allow others to make choices for them. We urge them to vote for the parties and candidates who reflect the values of Jesus of inclusivity, equality and justice for all.

"We believe that the policies of extremist parties are divisive and damaging to individuals and to our society. We call on mainstream political parties to take seriously the threat extremist parties pose and the concerns to which they claim to respond. Political parties should not do this by mimicking their policies, but by countering propaganda with truth. It is particularly important to address issues of immigration, asylum and terrorism without legitimising extremist language and policies.

"We rejoice in the growth of cooperation between people of faith across the country since the last General Election, notably between Christian and Muslim groups. We look for a longer term building of relationships, awareness and hope between all people of faith."

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