From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
UCC Synod expresses concern for Iraqi refugees
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thu, 02 Jul 2009 10:56:14 -0400
Synod expresses concern for Iraqi refugees
Written by J. Martin Bailey
June 29, 2009
In their first action on a resolution, delegates to General Synod 27
expressed concern for refugees and internally displaced persons in
Iraq who have been forced from their homes and are living "with much
uncertainty and hopelessness."
By unanimous vote, the delegates asked all settings of the United
Church of Christ to continue "to raise awareness of the impact of the
Iraq war" by advocating for a clearer recognition in the United States
"for our country's responsibility for the humanitarian crisis the war
The action also called for "significant increases and expedited
processing to offer resettlement of refugees in the United States."
The resolution was presented to delegates by the Rev. John Deckenback,
minister of the Central Atlantic Conference, who had recently visited
the Middle East to review the conditions of Iraqi refugees there. In
addition, it heard from Mr. Samer Laham, the director of a partner
agency in Syria related to the UCC's Wider Church Ministries. Mr.
Laham, who is a staff member of the Middle East Council of Churches
and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East, pled with
delegates to work for "a final and durable solution to Iraq and its
The Synod encouraged UCC members to support the humanitarian relief
efforts of its international partners who care for Iraqi refugees
currently living in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
Delegates also affirmed the UCC's commitment to refugee resettlement
and to support for the rights of refugees "scattered throughout the
Middle East and all over the world" to safe repatriation or
resettlement with compensation for their losses.
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