UMKR needs your support

General Conference 2020 has been

scheduled for Aug-Sept 2021. Our justice legislation is still vital & needs

YOUR support!  LEARN MORE:

 đź”´ New on our site   🔶 See  Updates

Political Action        Anti-BDS Legislation

An Urgent Appeal

from UMKR


Right now, UMKR has important church resolutions for GENERAL CONFERENCE,

MAY 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, resolutions on:

• protecting Palestinian children,
• defending the right to boycott,
•divesting from occupation governments' bonds, and other timely justice issues.


We also have BIG PLANS for educating A

LOT of people throughout our church about Palestinian rights, with literature, displays, events, meals, and witness actions!


With very limited resources, UMKR has made

a BIG  impact in the global United Methodist Church! Groundbreaking divestment and boycott actions by the UMC would never have happened withoutUMKR's advocacy AND all the extraordinary partners and allies who helped us.


GC 2020 is our BEST OPPORTUNITY to once again make an impact for Palestinian rights throughout our denomination, on four continents.


But if we are to succeed advocating for justice

with over 5000 United Methodists who come to General Conference from around the world...

WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP,

IN THE WINTER AND SPRING OF 2020!


Please give as generously as you can, and know that whatever you are able to give

will be gratefully appreciated.


EVERY DONATION – large, medium, or small –
makes a difference in our work!

Click the green button:

​​​​​United Methodists and broad faith coalition call on Americans to protect First Amendment rights from current and growing legislative threats


Download this press release


In a historic show of unity, dozens of faith

organizations publish a full-page newspaper

advertisement, one day after 20 top Christian

leaders send an open letter to Congress. Both

actions include United Methodists; both defend

the right to boycott as constitutionally

protected free speech and oppose anti-BDS laws

that violate Americans’ rights.

November 9, 2017 –
A full-page statement was

published on November 7th in The Kansas City Star,

calling on all Americans to oppose those state and 

federal laws known as “anti-BDS legislation that

penalize our right to freedom of speech in the form

of boycotts.

[See and download that statement]

The statement’s signatories and endorsements

include three denominations - The Alliance of

Baptists, The Presbyterian Church (USA) and

The United Church of Christ - and dozens of

faith-based organizations, including United Methodists

for Kairos Response (UMKR) and Methodist Federation

for Social Action (MFSA).  The statement defends

American’s First Amendment right to use boycotts

and other economic acts of conscience to protest Israel’s

abuses of Palestinian human rights and violations of international law. 

The newspaper statement comes just one day after 20 Christian leaders representing 17 faith-based organizations
sent an open letter to all members of Congress, opposing the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act.” The letter was sent by diverse Christian leaders in the U.S., from the National Council of Churches, The United Methodist Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a dozen other bodies.

Over the past several years, a series of laws intended to suppress boycotts related to Israeli human rights abuses have been passed in Congress and two dozen states across the country; more punitive legislation, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, is now pending in Congress. The ACLU and other civil liberties groups have warned that these laws are unconstitutional and pose a serious threat to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, which the Supreme Court has made clear includes the right to boycott.  

Anticipating the importance of this legislation,
UMKR published a policy brief early in 2016 to alert United Methodists and the American public about this growing threat to essential freedoms in the United States.

In 2017, a member of the Mennonite Church was prevented from working as a teacher on a state contract because she supports her church’s call to boycotts in support of Palestinian rights. In October, ACLU filed a lawsuit on her behalf against the Kansas State Dept of Education, in the first major legal challenge to anti-BDS legislation. 

The 
statement in The Kansas City Star refers to this case in Kansas; it also addresses the widespread phenomenon of such legislation in the U.S.:

“We are alarmed by legislation recently passed in a number of states penalizing participation in the nonviolent, grassroots Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, and by similar legislation that is proposed in the U.S. Congress… As faith leaders, we have long used the nonviolent instruments of boycott and divestment in our work for justice and peace.” 

The statement concludes with a call to all Americans to join us in “defending our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Urge state legislators and members of Congress to reject anti-BDS legislation as an infringement on the rights of American citizens. “

UMKR has provided United Methodists in the United States and all concerned American citizens with an action page to send that message in one step to their members of Congress, the White House, their state legislators and their Governors.


In recent years, a growing number of Americans, including mainline Christian denominations such as The United Methodist Church, The Presbyterian Church (USA), The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The United Church of Christ, and the Mennonite Church USA, have called for boycotts or implemented investment screens in support of Palestinians struggling peacefully for their freedom from Israel’s oppressive, 50-year-old military occupation regime.

As the Nov 7th newspaper statement notes, Americans have a long and honorable tradition of using boycotts to address injustice and support human rights causes, from the Civil Rights movement, to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, to attempts to protect the rights of immigrants, people of color, and others whose rights are threatened today. 

There should be no free speech exclusion for Americans who support Palestinian rights and freedom.


United Methodists, along with our partners in diverse Christian denominations and other faith communities, will continue to stand with those who are being targeted by unjust laws for acting according to their conscience. We also will continue to use nonviolent methods, including boycott, divestment and the call for appropriate government sanctions, to support international law and the goal of freedom, justice, and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________

for our work to continue.

General Conference

United Methodists are responding to Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth ,a statement of faith and urgent call to action from Christians in Palestine.  UMKR seeks, through nonviolent means and in partnership with Palestinian Christians, freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.