The Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) – to which the South African President Nelson Mandela belonged – has joined the BDS movement, the movement's South Africa branch reported in its newsletter today.
At its recent conference, held in Cape Town, the two million strong church noted "Israel's ongoing ill-treatment and oppression of Palestinian people, and the historic prophetic role played by the church and international community in fighting Apartheid, and any form of discrimination and injustice."
As an act of solidarity with the people of Palestine, the Church directed "the Methodist people to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) all businesses that benefit the Israeli economy." The church has also called for a "boycott of all Israeli pilgrimage operators and tours" and is urging Christians visiting the Holy Land to rather "deliberately seek out tours that offer an alternative Palestinian" perspective. The Methodist Church of Southern Africa has communities in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.
The South African human rights NGO and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, commended the Methodist Church for joining the growing list of African churches who are vocally lending their support to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid and, in particular, to the Palestinian Christian community in the Holy Land.