#SilenceTheGuns, African Resolution by African Leaders for African Conflict

The World Methodist Council (WMC), joins the World Council of Churches (WCC) in its
condemnation of violent attacks in the Tigray region of conflict in Ethiopia. In addition,
WMC General Secretary, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, hears with deep distress that UNHCR, the
UN’s refugee agency, reports that women, children and men have crossed the border at a
rate of 4,000 per day in Tigray, adding to more than 100,000 Eritrean refugees in four camps
in Tigray who were displaced in the 1998-2000 Ethiopia-Eritrea border war.
In the light of WMC’s call on the United Nations to adopt UNSCR 2532 and support a global
ceasefire amidst the Coronavirus (2) pandemic, WMC General Secretary appeals to all
African political, civil and faith leaders in the African Union to support #SilenceTheGuns,
an African initiative to address African problems by Africa’s leaders.

The WMC further notes that AU President, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, emphasised in a
meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister, HE Sahle-Work Zewde that “Ethiopia occupies a
place of pride and honour in the history of Africa, having successfully resisted colonialism,
and played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa. The decision of the Founding
Fathers that Africa’s foremost Continental organisation, the Organisation for African Unity
(OAU), should be established and headquartered in Addis Ababa, was a fitting tribute to
Ethiopia’s role as a symbol of African unity.” Ramaphosa indicated, however, that “the
ongoing conflict … is a matter of great concern not only for countries in the region of the
Horn of Africa, but for the continent as a whole.”

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, in response to #SilenceTheGuns initiative, therefore, “calls on the
‘People called Methodist’ as well as all humans globally to be mindful of and work in every
way possible for an end to this historic, regional conflict and to seek the promotion of a
just, peaceful and sustainable solution to this … fragile conflict in Africa.” “We call on all
people who are committed to global solidarity to mourn the unnecessary loss of life and
look to the legacy of historic peace and co-existence that Ethiopia has been and remains
able to contribute toward the future of African co-existence, humanitarian peace and
solidarity.” To this end, the WMC calls on its membership on the African continent and in
the rest of the world to support the African Union President, HE Cyril Ramaphosa’s deep
desire “that the conflict … be brought to an end through dialogue between the conflict
ridden parties and that such initiative be viewed against the background of the African
Union’s objective of #SilenceTheGuns, intended to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent
genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts,
human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.”

The WMC calls on all to pray, work and call for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict
raging in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and the Horn of Africa: “God of healing, light and
compassion; we bring to You all who suffer in body, mind or spirit as a result of war and
conflict in Ethiopia or because of fears, suspicions raised by cultural, religious or human
differences. We pray for all who seek refuge, for those who have been displaced from
family, livelihoods or securities. Show them Your mercy and compassion, O Lord and grant
strength to those who seek victims’ relief in any form of distress; for Your Name’s sake.
God bless Africa. Guide her leaders. Guard her children; And give her peace. Amen”

Statement prepared by Keith Vermeulen, Researcher, WMC

Statement from the Methodist Church in Peru

Please read a statement from Bishop Samuel Aquilar, bishop of the Methodist Church in Peru, regarding the troubles and political unrests in Peru, a country also deeply affected by COVID-19.

Click on the button below to read more.

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa invites you

The Executive Committee of the Limpopo Synod of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa has the
pleasure of inviting you to the Inaugural Rev. Dr. Stanley Mogoba Lecture. 

Dr. Mogoba is the recipient of the 1996 World Methodist Council Peace Award and has spent many years serving the Council.

General Secretary Ivan Abrahams will also be speaking during this lecture. You can join this momentous event by going to the Methodist Church of Southern Africa website (https://methodist.org.za/) and watching the live stream. 

Christian leaders worldwide urge IMF and World Bank to cancel debts

More than 140 senior Church leaders representing millions of Christians around the world have signed a letter urging the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to cancel debts for developing countries fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 
The letter – signed by cardinals, archbishops and heads of religious congregations from different Christian denominations – was sent ahead of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings on 16-18 October. 
The institutions are expected to discuss debt relief for poor nations at the meeting as part of planning for the global economic recovery. 
In the letter, the Church leaders encourage the institutions to show “courageous leadership” and argue that debt cancellation “is the most immediate way to release the finance required to prevent millions of our sisters and brothers being needlessly pushed into poverty by the pandemic.”
 Signatories to the letter include:
• Sister Alessandra Smerilli (Coordinator of the Economy Taskforce of the Vatican Commission for Covid-19);
• Prof Isabel Apawo Phiri (Deputy General Secretary, World Council of Churches);
• Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon (Secretary General of the Anglican Communion);
• Rev. Fidon Mwombeki (General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches);
• Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu (Archbishop of Kinshasa);
• Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario (Archbishop Emeritus of Dhaka); and
• Cardinal Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel (Archbishop of Addis Ababa).
‘Grave risk without debt cancellation from World Bank and IMF’
The faith leaders write that each has “borne witness to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the most vulnerable members of our communities through illness, death, hunger and loss of livelihoods.”
“Without the cancellation of debts, there remains a grave risk that developing countries will not have the money so desperately and urgently needed to halt the spread of the virus, to treat people suffering from the virus and to mitigate and recover from the economic and social destruction threatened by the virus”, the letter insists.
The senior Christian figures cite a call from Pope Francis for debts to be cancelled “in recognition of the severe impacts of the medical, social and economic crises” faced by vulnerable countries as a result of the coronavirus. 
The Pope reiterated his call for relief earlier this month in an encyclical warning the world must work together to rebuild following the pandemic. 
The Christian leaders’ letter was coordinated by global NGOs, including CAFOD, Christian Aid and CIDSE.  
1.  You can download the full letter as a pdf – see below


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The World Methodist Council has learnt with great sadness and shock of the tragic death of
your spiritual leader, The Right Reverend John K. Yambasu on 17th August. We understand that
Bishop John sadly succumbed to an accident on his way to attend the funeral of a colleague,
The late Revd. Edmund Kamara, in Northern Sierra Leone.

On behalf of the World Methodist Council, representing some 80 million people called
Methodists across the globe, I convey my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the
United Methodist family at large. I pray that the Almighty bind up your broken hearts and souls
as you prepare to come to terms at your devastating loss.

And yet, we give thanks to the Creator for the gift that was Bishop Yambasu, for his Ministries in
Christian Education and Youth, for founding the Child Rescue Center in Sierra Leone and for his
leadership as Bishop of the United Methodist Church since 2008.
We pray too, during this time of grief, when brokenness of heart and spirit forcefully remind us
that death is woven into the very fabric of our human existence, that Bishop Yambasu’s wife,
Millicent and children, Rebecca, Adima, John, Emmanuel and Elizabeth will know God’s love
and comfort in a very special way.
The Lord is near to those who mourn; he lifts up those who whose spirit is crushed. Ps 34:18;
The Lord binds up the brokenhearted, Isaiah 61:1-3

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Ivan M Abrahams
General Secretary

Zimbabwe Pastoral Letter

Click here to read the Zimbabwe Pastoral Letter from the World Methodist Council, World Council of Churches, The Lutheran World Federation, and World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). 

Mission Beyond COVID-19: COVID-19: Hindrance or Help to Peacemaking?

The COVID-19 pandemic has enforced national borders through travel bans and disrupted planned peacemaking events for 2020, such as those associated with the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. But it has also led to new calls for a cessation of hostilities world-wide, such as the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2532. Will the pandemic lead to more separation and conflict as groups seek to secure their own health and other interests? Or is the pandemic an opportunity to redefine peace and security in terms of people, human life and value, and the importance of (re)securing relations with one another? 
Moderator: Dr. David W. Scott, mission theologian, Global Ministries
Panelists include: 
Bishop Ivan M. Abrahams, general secretary, World Methodist Council 
Rev. Dr. Jin Yang Kim, Global Ministries global missionary and coordinator of Korean Peninsula
Dialogue and Peacebuilding of the World Council of Churches
Originally recorded August 12, 2020.