Statement on the Pittsburg Synagogue Shooting

The General Secretary of The World Methodist Council (WMC), Bishop Ivan Abrahams expressed shock at the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting which claimed the lives of 11. He strongly condemned the attack on unarmed civilians gathered for worship. “There is no place for hate speech and ant-Semitism in a society which espouses democratic values,” said Abrahams.

On behalf of The WMC, Abrahams conveyed sincere condolences to the family and friends of those killed and pledged support and continued prayers for a speedy and full recovery of those injured in this cowardly act of violence.

Statement on Indonesia

Four days after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed major parts of Sulawesi, in the Indonesian archipelago, the death toll exceeds one thousand with many more injured. Indonesia lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is prone to natural disasters.  

The General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, expressed condolences to the people of Indonesia and called on the Methodist community to pray and support those affected by the recent catastrophe.

Statement on the Death of Kofi Annan

The World Methodist Council (WMC) joined leaders from around the world to pay tribute to Kofi Annan, who died aged 80 after a brief illness.

Kofi Annan was the first sub-Saharan African to lead the United Nations (1997-2006). His deep commitment to justice, human rights and championing the fight against HIV and AIDS earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1998, the WMC recognized his contribution and honored him with the Methodist Peace Award. Former WMC President, Dr. Francis Alguire recalls Kofi Annan’s acceptance speech at the ceremony in the Chapel of the United Methodist Women across from the United Nation in New York. He related a story about a teacher in a Methodist School in Ghana who held up a piece of paper and reminded them that while they were small dots in a great big world, there were many opportunities for them.

In 2012 Annan was appointed Chair of The Elders, a peace and advocacy group started by Nelson Mandela. Until the last, he was a tireless worker for peace. Last month, he attended an event to mark the 100th Birthday celebration of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg and witness the first post Mugabe elections in Zimbabwe.

Ivan Abrahams, the General Secretary of the WMC said; “While Kofi Anan’s voice will be missed, he will continue to inspire us to build a more just world for all God’s people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Annan family.”

WMC Statement on Attacks in Northeastern Nigeria

The World Methodist Council condemns the deadly attacks in Damboa in Borno State, Nigeria where suspected Boko Haram jihadists targeted people celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday. At least 32 people were confirmed dead and 84 were reported injured.

World Methodist Council General Secretary Ivan Abrahams expressed condolences to the families of those killed and called on all peace-loving people to pray for them and for those injured. He said, “Once again we see innocent civilians bearing the brunt of an indiscriminate attack at a religious celebration.”

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Myrta Kaulard, says that 1.7 million people have been displaced by the Boko Haram conflict since the insurgency began.