Statement on racism

The Methodist Group charged with responding to the threat ofpolitical extremism and racism made this statement after itsconsultation held in Burnley:

"As Britain approaches the General Election, when peopleexercise their democratic right and responsibility to vote, werestate the Methodist Church's conviction that political partiesbased upon racist policies are contrary to a Christianunderstanding 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 votefor the parties and candidates who reflect the values of Jesus ofinclusivity, equality and justice for all.

"We believe that the policies of extremist parties are divisiveand damaging to individuals and to our society. We call onmainstream political parties to take seriously the threat extremistparties 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 particularlyimportant to address issues of immigration, asylum and terrorismwithout legitimising extremist language and policies.

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