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Antisemitism and Islamophobia

16th March 2024: The Methodist Church
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A statement from the President and Vice President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Gill Newton and Deacon Kerry Scarlett

We are deeply saddened and concerned about the increase in antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United Kingdom. Such incidents, attacks and attitudes are fundamentally opposed to Jesus' command to love our neighbour. The tangible fear and tension for British Jewish and Muslim communities as a result of these incidents have no place in our society and are a real threat to community cohesion.

The 2023 Methodist Conference reiterated our commitment to oppose antisemitism and to stand by all who are discriminated against or persecuted on the grounds of their religion or ethnicity. We recognise that as a Church we need to be vigilant about our own language, voice and actions, and continue to repent and learn from past wrongs. We are committed to being an inclusive Church that challenges antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination.

We call on our elected leaders to lead by example and not only call out any discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds but to ensure that in their language they do not incite antisemitism and Islamophobia.

We also believe that we are called as Christians to challenge all policies and practices which perpetuate injustice, oppression, violence and suffering. This includes instances where states, political parties, politicians or groups try to silence legitimate criticism of policies and actions by claiming they are antisemitic or Islamophobic.

As a justice-seeking Church we believe in building communities of inclusion and challenging discriminatory speech and behaviour, recognising that we are all created in God's image and have value and worth. We continue this work of seeking justice, peace and flourishing through our interfaith relationships and with all who share a vision of a society where no-one is discriminated against and all are free to fulfil their God-given potential.

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