Methodist Church condemns UK Government's failure of Zimbabwean refugees

The Methodist Conference has condemned the UK government'sfailure to care for Zimbabwean refugees and is urging theGovernment to immediately stop all deportations to Zimbabwe andgrant indefinite 'right to remain' to Zimbabwean refugees.

The Conference expressed support for all international efforts tobring about a peaceful, sustainable democratic future forZimbabwe.

Kevin Fray, World Church Secretary for Africa, says; 'We are deeplyconcerned for the wellbeing of all people. With this in mind, it isright that the Church expresses solidarity with all Zimbabweans atthis time.'

Local churches are being invited to contribute to the Fund forWorld Mission to help the Zimbabwean churches respond to urgenthumanitarian needs in the country. The churches have requestedfunding for a lorry for aid distribution and secure transport ofMethodist ministers to their new stations. An initial gift raisedby the Conference's Sunday offering will be sent to support this.Resources will be made available to help Methodist churches inBritain understand the ongoing situation and respondappropriately.

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

In 2008 the British Methodist Church has sent solidarity grantstotalling more than £70,000 to support humanitarian work inZimbabwe.