NCC Grieves with Muslim Community in U.S., Worldwide

The National Council of Churches grieves with Muslims worldwide after hearing the news of the more than 700 worshipers who died in the tragedy that took place during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, a short distance outside of Mecca. It is especially tragic that these worshipers died during the Hajj, an event that carries intense spiritual and emotional power to Muslims.

We express our sadness also to our many Muslim partners here in the United States, who no doubt had faithful from their communities participating in the annual pilgrimage. We strive to celebrate with our Muslim friends in joyful times, and to also join them in grief when tragedies such as this strike.

The Syria Refugee Crisis and the Churches

The National Council of Churches echoes and endorses the call of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service for the US Government to open its borders to 100,000 Syrian refugees this coming fiscal year, in addition to increasing the total U.S. resettlement commitment to 100,000 refugees from other parts of the world. Along with our ecumenical colleagues in the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe, we also call upon the European Union to put in place policies which enable safe and legal pathways into Europe including issuing of humanitarian visas, lifting of visa requirements for persons fleeing from conflict zones, easier and more generous family reunification for persons in need of or granted international protection, and humanitarian admission.*  And along with all people and organizations of goodwill, we call upon the United Nations and its member states to commit its diplomatic and humanitarian agencies to bring about an end to this crisis.

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Black Methodist Coalition: "Liberty and Justice For All"

When President Obama was elected in 2008, pundits declared that the United States was entering a “post-racial era.”  At an historic gathering of Methodist denominations in Washington, DC., Bishop Reginald Jackson reminded the crowd gathered that with the gross inequalities that persist, and with vicious acts of race-based violence ongoing, a new struggle for “liberty and justice for all” should be the priority of churches across America.

In a gathering of four historically African-American Methodist denominations, a clarion call to end racism was issued in a series of events in Washington, DC that concluded with a meeting at the White House on September 2nd.  Leadership of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church, and the Union Methodist Episcopal (UAME) Church joined together to launch this initiative to make an end to racism a national priority.

“It seems that 239 years after our nation’s founding, and 151 years since the Civil War, we are still not ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all,’” stated Bishop Reginald Jackson (AME) in his opening remarks.  “It is also discrimination and bias built into laws and policies: the racism of being stigmatized and targeted because of the color of our skin…that must be confronted.”

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Iran’s Nuclear Program: Who Can We Trust?

By Tony Kireopoulos

The most pressing, and debated, matter in foreign policy today is the proposed agreement between Iran and its negotiating partners regarding its nuclear program and what most understand as the future of security in the Middle East. The Obama Administration, on behalf of the United States, along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, has agreed to a deal with Iran that would rein in Iran’s nuclear capabilities while financially phasing that country back into the mainstream of the international community.

Despite the promise of a new era represented by this agreement, not all parties see it as a positive development. Among the critics are members of the United States Congress, the endorsement of which would be helpful for this diplomatic achievement to find full acceptance by the American public. While some may attribute this contrary spirit to persistent post-9/11 fearfulness, deep-seated contempt for the Iranian “enemy,” simple belligerence, or just plain animosity toward the president, I wonder if, at its core, this contrariness is fundamentally rooted in a profound lack of trust. But it is not so much about trust in Iran or its government. It is more about trust in ourselves, and in the power of our ideals.

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October 4, 2015 20:05
We give thanks for the unity we find at the table on this World Communion Sunday

October 2, 2015 13:07
Don't become numb. Pledge your congregation to take part in the National Gun Violence Prevention Weekend

October 2, 2015 10:38
DC area friends: join us for an enlightening conversation with Sen. John Danforth about the positive role of religion in American public life.