Monday, June 18, 2018

Recommended readings: African UMC peacemaking

Last week, I shared a list of UMNS articles about Africans engaged in charity to other Africans. The articles were intended to show the extent of African resources for service and charity. Yet charity is not the only area in which the African UMC brings significant assets to its mission. Indeed, United Methodist engagement on peace is somewhat of a denominational hallmark across the continent. There have been a dozen UMNS articles about United Methodist efforts for peace in various African countries in just the last 15 months:

Zimbabwe UMC and other churches march for peace

Sierra Leone United Methodist Men preach political unity

UMC, ecumenical partners preach Christian unity to Congolese women

Teaching Muslims and Christians for peace in Cote d'Ivoire

UMC promotes peace and unity in the DRC

Church offers peace training to young people in DRC

United Methodists preach peaceful Sierra Leone elections

UMC churches in Congo pray for peace and condemn attack on protestors

UMC prays for peace in Zimbabwe

Liberian United Methodists asked to pray for peaceful elections

Kenyan UMC promotes peaceful voting

UMC promotes peace between Pygmies and Bantus in DRC

Note that in all these cases, peacemaking means directly addressing pressing political issues, including those related to ethnicity and religion. That doesn't mean that the church necessarily takes sides in political debates. It does, however, mean that the church is not "apolitical" in the sense of avoiding or ignoring politics. Peacemaking involves the church speaking God's word for peace in the midst of political conflicts.

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