Civil and Human Rights

As United Methodists, we believe that God has given us principles for how to live in a community. Central to Jesus’ teachings, life, death, and resurrection is the Great Commandment: we must love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34)

“We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disability; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.”

Much of the Bible is devoted to figuring out how to follow this commandment. Nearly all of Church history is filled with devout Christians struggling — with failures and successes — to live out this commandment. What does it mean to love God? What does it look like when we love our neighbor?

What we believe about the nature of God and the nature of humanity also informs our understanding. Scripture tells us God created humankind in God’s image. What does that mean for how we treat each other?

We must take these questions seriously as followers of Christ.

We believe that in loving both God and neighbor, we must pursue God’s command of justice, liberation and flourishing for all people. We must work for the civil and human rights of every person.

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  • National Council of Churches delegation to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 

Included in the photo are: Methodist Bishop John Wesley Lord, Presbyterian W.G. Harper McKnight, Methodist Bishop Charles F. Golden, Dr. Ralph Sockman, and Methodist Bishop James K. Matthews.
    Free and Fair Elections

    The United Methodist Church affirms the right to vote for all adult citizens as a basic human right.

  • An art installation outside the United Methodist Building highlighting the cradle to prison pipeline.
    Criminal Justice Reform

    The biblical ideal of justice emphasizes right relationship with God, oneself, individuals, and the entire community.

  • Three men of different faiths standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Death Penalty

    We unequivocally oppose the death penalty and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.

  • Two men hold crosses with numbers representing those killed in immigration raids
    Global Migration

    Moving from one place to another is a protected human right.

  • Signs in support of immigration reform
    Immigration to the U.S.

    U.S. policy has focused on enforcement, rather than addressing root causes. It is time to focus on holistic reform.

  • Person speaking in the chapel at the United Nations Church Center
    Religious Freedom

    Every religious group should be able to exercise its faith free from legal, political, or economic restrictions.

  • Three people lead prayer outside the United Methodist Building
    LGBTQ Rights

    We will seek to live together in Christian community, accepting one another as Christ has accepted us.

  • native american dance
    Indigenous Peoples

    Indigenous and native peoples deserve the right to their culture, spirituality, language, and tradition.

  • Christian Nationalism graphic
    Christian Nationalism in the U.S.

    The rising influence of Christian Nationalism has increasingly seeped into U.S. politics threatening the vibrancy and the cultural fabric of U.S. democracy.