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A statement and prayer on the Afghanistan crisis

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A statement and prayer on the Afghanistan crisis

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference offer the following statement regarding the crisis in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's advance in Afghanistan has taken place more quickly than anyone predicted. Over the past few days we have received distressing reports about the situation in Kabul, as well as across the country.

Following our military involvement, the UK bears a heavy responsibility towards the people of Afghanistan and must act to support all who fear for their future and seek asylum. Over the course of this conflict, members of our churches have been supporting those who have been forced to flee and at this critical time our response must be one of compassion and generosity. As Members of Parliament are recalled, we hope that there might be an unequivocal guarantee to support those seeking asylum, and that broad and accessible routes to the UK are created for those seeking sanctuary from Afghanistan.

Methodist chaplains have served members of our Armed Forces in Afghanistan over the past 20 years and we are mindful of them and of all who bear the scars of this conflict. We remember particularly those still serving, veterans, civilian colleagues and their families for whom the current situation in Afghanistan may be evoking difficult memories.

Our hearts go out to women in Afghanistan who have taken the opportunity to lead in many ways, making contributions in their communities, business and politics. They now fear that these freedoms will be reversed. We call on all governments everywhere to uphold the empowerment of women and to ensure that the new government in Afghanistan maintains the freedoms that have been gained in recent years.

In the face of uncertainty in Afghanistan and the region we know that many will want to join us in prayer.

Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Conference

Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

A prayer for Afghanistan

The Prophet says, You know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to offer you hope and a future.

Gracious and holy God,

We come to you with the situation in Afghanistan heavy on our hearts. It is a situation so complicated, and so fast moving, that it is difficult for us to know what to say or how to think.

We hold before you the people of the country, those who stay and those who flee; those living with terror and afraid for the future; those who, because of this latest turn of events, will never be able to live the fullness of life that is your purpose. We hold all this before you.

We hold open to you the future: the world leaders with a role in shaping what happens next; the many who are becoming refugees and the people who will be called upon to offer them safety and a future; the impact of these local events on our world story. We hold all this open to you.

We hold in your love all those known to us whose lives have been bound up in the recent story of Afghanistan. We think of all those who have served there in our Armed Forces, those who were injured and those who did not return. We hold in our hearts all those for whom this is a time of special grieving and confusion, and those who minister to them. We hold all these in your love.

Rock of ages, at this difficult time we lean into your timelessness.

Turn us, and all people, to your good purposes for your world. Grant courage and wisdom, hope and a future.

Amen

Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

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