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Church Supports Global Efforts to End Slavery

Whereas, the institution of slavery controls the lives of over 27 million persons worldwide, including the United States; and

Whereas, slavery is a crime against humanity, and is expressly prohibited by international law and a number of international treaties; and

Whereas, the United Nations, the United States Congress, the United States State Department, the Department of Justice, as well as a host of international human rights organizations, have recognized and officially documented the current existence of slavery and bonded labor; and

Whereas, the existence of slavery is often closely connected with sex trafficking of women and the trafficking of children; and

Whereas, in the Exodus, the people of God are liberated from the bondage of Pharaoh; and

Whereas, founder of Methodism, John Wesley, in numerous instances, including a tract entitled "Thoughts on Slavery" and sermon entitled "The Use of Money," condemned slavery as wrong and incompatible with Christ's teachings; and

Whereas, The United Methodist Church regards the institution of slavery as an "infamous evil" and recognizing that "All forms of enslavement are totally prohibited and shall no way be tolerated by the church" (Book of Discipline, 164A); and

Whereas, the General Board on Global Ministries, through the United Methodist Committee on Relief Sudan Emergency campaign, as well as other United Methodist organizations, has worked to aid people subjected to enslavement and bonder labor;

Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church officially support efforts to end all contemporary forms of slavery and bonded labor; and

Be it further resolved, that The United Methodist Church actively champion anti-slavery efforts by petitioning the United Nations, United States Congress, the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the legislative bodies of all countries in which The United Methodist Church has an organized ecclesiastical structure, to demand the freeing of all subjected to modernday forms of enslavement and bonded labor; and

Be it further resolved, that The United Methodist Church petition the United Nations and the United States Congress and State Department to abolish slavery through the use of nonmilitary options such as negotiations and sanctions; and

Be it further resolved, that The United Methodist Church officially support stock/mutual fund divestment campaigns that urge people to remove funds from organizations whose actions profit from and contribute to slavery's existence; and

Be it further resolved, that The United Methodist Church inform all members of the church, via news publications and other communication channels of the connectional system, that slavery currently exists and that The United Methodist Church officially opposes its existence and urge all United Methodists to join with international human rights organizations in working to end all contemporary forms of slavery and bonded labor; and

Be it further resolved, that this document be sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and the legislative bodies of countries in which The United Methodist Church has an established ecclesiastical structure.

ADOPTED 2000
REVISED AND READOPTED 2008 (# 6021)
Resolution #283, 2004 Book of Resolutions
Resolution #263, 2000 Book of Resolutions

See Social Principles, 165B.

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