In its annual meeting in London, England, the Board of Directors of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU), an organization supported by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), expressed its alarm about the current global immigration, refugee, and human trafficking crisis. The association was especially concerned with the lack of solidarity with immigrants and their children.
In a statement released immediately after its adoption, the Board reviewed its grave concern about this “humanitarian crisis” that has been getting worse over recent years and called on governments “to give serious and responsible attention to all refugees, especially women and children, and to treat them with dignity, respect, and care.”
Furthermore, the statement calls on governments, “even in the midst of their concern for economic and national security issues, not to succumb to the fear that hardens their hearts; rather, we call on them to transcend fear and raw political power with love, reason, wisdom, and generosity of spirit so that all people are cared for humanely and compassionately.”
The statement reaffirmed IAMSCU’s commitment to education as the key to addressing these challenges.
IAMSCU membership includes more than 1,000 affiliated educational institutions in the Methodist tradition in 80 countries spread over five continents. It represents a connection of more than 80 million Methodist-related communities worldwide.
“This is a milestone statement carefully considered by the membership about an increasingly important worldwide issue,” said Dr. Amos Nascimento, associate general secretary, Office of Global Education and New Initiatives, GBHEM. “Methodism has far-reaching influence. We hope that this statement will inspire action that will effectively address the problem. This is a crisis that all Christians and other persons of conscience should respond to in their own spheres of influence.”
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.