Last week, I shared a list of UMNS articles about Africans engaged in charity to other Africans. The articles were intended to show the extent of African resources for service and charity. Yet charity is not the only area in which the African UMC brings significant assets to its mission. Indeed, United Methodist engagement on peace is somewhat of a denominational hallmark across the continent. There have been a dozen UMNS articles about United Methodist efforts for peace in various African countries in just the last 15 months:
Note that in all these cases, peacemaking means directly addressing pressing political issues, including those related to ethnicity and religion. That doesn’t mean that the church necessarily takes sides in political debates. It does, however, mean that the church is not “apolitical” in the sense of avoiding or ignoring politics. Peacemaking involves the church speaking God’s word for peace in the midst of political conflicts.