Archive: More About WCC Grants to Terrorists

By Charles W. Keysor, Editor, Good News Magazine

The Nov/Dec issue of Good News, contained an editorial titled, “Angry, Embarrassed, and Ashamed.” It discussed the gift of $85,000 given to two African terrorist groups by the World Council of Churches.

Three new developments deserve reporting and comment.

  1. Early in September, WCC announced granting a new gift of $125,000 to yet another African “liberation” group: SWAPO (South West African People’s Organization). This action was taken in the face of heavy worldwide criticism generated by the Rhodesian guerrilla grants. Therefore the SWAPO gift underscores the WCC’s determination to support “liberation”-styled terrorism in Africa. This latest grant is not an accidental blunder-rather, it evidences a deliberate and deeply-rooted policy which swings WCC straight in line with advocates of “throw a hand grenade for Jesus” liberation theology.
  1. When the Nov/Dec issue of Good News went to press, we had not yet received a reply to our letter to WCC, asking them to identify contributors to their Special Fund to Combat Racism, source of the terrorist grants. The reply to us contained no list of contributors; instead it was a sheaf of propaganda justifying the WCC actions. So we ask again: Who are these mysterious benefactors of African terrorism? One donor has surfaced, somewhat surprisingly. Which leads to …
  1. At the Fall 1978 meeting of the UM Board of Global Ministries, a paper was circulated under the title, “The World Council of Churches and the Grant for Humanitarian Services Through the Zimbabwe [Rhodesia] Liberation Leadership.” The author of this paper is identified as United Methodism’s top ecumenical expert, Robert W. Huston, “Associate General Secretary, Ecumenical & lnterreligious Concerns Division, Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 1300, New York, NY 10027.”

This document is written with great subtlety; the truth is stated artfully. Reproduced below in italic type is what seems to be the crux of this paper. Those wishing to read the entire four-page document can get a copy by writing to Good News, 308 E. Main St., Wilmore, KY. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed return envelope.

In the discussions about the grant there are several key points, however.

[1] Only funds specifically designated for this purpose are used in this program. They come from groups, individuals or governments (Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands). No United Methodist contributions to the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund (from which all our basic support of the WCC comes) have ever been or will ever be so designated or used. [Emphasis added]

[2] The Commission for the Programme to Combat Racism does not make grants unilaterally. It studies situations where racial oppression exists and makes recommendations. The Executive Committee makes the final decisions. The Executive Committee can and does delegate the final decisions to the officers. For obvious reasons, the general policy has been not to make grants to governments. But prior to this grant, nearly $112,000 had gone to the African National Council (Bishop Muzorewa’s movement before he became part of the interim government) while only $58,000 and $52,000 had gone to the other two movements. This puts it in some perspective. It should be remembered that the issues basic to the program were raised at the Nairobi Assembly of the WCC in 1975, at Central Committee meetings since then and always solidly affirmed by the majority voting. The PCR Commission is charged with responsibility for aiding oppressed persons fighting for their rights in racist situations. [Emphasis added] Whatever doubts one may have about the wisdom or timing of this specific grant should be looked at in this perspective.

[3] The Programme to Combat Racism receives its funds directly from special gifts. This means that contributions which our church, as a denomination, makes to the central budget of the WCC, as part of our Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, are not placed in this program. Its budget is made up of gifts designated to the Fund from local churches, individuals, denominational agencies, and even governments (Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands). The World Council lists no contributions from United Methodist agencies to the Special Fund in 1971 or 1972; $1,800 in 1973; $5,000 in 1974; none in 1975; and $7,820 in 1976. In 1977, the World Division sent $10,000, and the same amount in 1978. However, these latter two gifts were not designated specifically for the grants; as a result, they were placed in the budget for staff and office expenses and special projects. [Emphasis added] No gifts are included as “grants” unless they have specifically been so stated, though it is not possible for designation of which movement, since that decision is made by the Advisory Committee with final approval given by the WCC Executive Committee or its officers.

[4] In any event, funds are not used for military purposes. Doubters may be helped by the fact that in official inquiries by the governments of Rhodesia and South Africa (who would have interest in this) no evidence was discovered that funds from any of the PCR grants have ever been used for military purposes.

[5] The situation in Rhodesia is much worse than most can imagine and the abatement of the racist stance of the minority government hardly noticeable.

[6] Compassion for the plight of refugees from Rhodesia is a consideration the Christian cannot ignore. Many of these refugees are in camps in Botswana and Mozambique that are aided by the Patriotic Front and thus by the grant.

[7] It would be naive to claim that even humanitarian purposes cannot be twisted for use in political struggles in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe that are complicated, tension filled and have potential for the escalation of violence. Perceptions of these issues may be influenced by the simple fact that a United Methodist bishop has taken an active political stance in a hope for peaceful transition to majority rule. … [End quote]

Stripping away the bafflegab, it boils down to this: Unspecified United Methodist agencies, principally the World Division, Board of Global Ministries, have contributed $34,620 to the WCC racism thrust since 1973. At least $20,000 of this was apparently used to pay administrative/overhead costs of operating the Fund’s program. Thus, technically, UM money did not go directly to the terrorists; it only made possible the giving of such grants by supplying the essential administrative services.

To argue, therefore, that UM money has not gone to the terrorists is something like arguing that a clerk at the Auschwitz concentration camp, in ordering gas for killing Jews, did not actually kill any Jews.

Notice also, under #2, the assumption of equality between grants given to a United Methodist bishop working non-violently within the legal process and money given to Marxists publicly committed to violence. That both are equally supported and no distinction is made constitutes an amazing blurring of moral values. In effect, this says that the end (Rhodesia’s “liberation”) justifies any means. This, of course, is simply situation ethics applied to the spending of church money.

It is time for well-meaning apologists, who have been busily denying that UM dollars support terrorism, to admit now that a serious mistake has been made. Misappropriation may not be too strong a word, for how many people who put their money into the offering places of their local churches (or into their UM Women pledges) intended one penny to be used in support of African terrorism?

The next General Conference ought to take strong and decisive action. First, as a witness to the fact that we still follow the Prince of Peace, we should end the $300,000 annual UM pledge to the violence-promoting World Council of Churches. To do less than this will further implicate all United Methodists in the financing of violent, Marxist revolution.

Second, General Conference should reprimand and replace those UM executives who spent church dollars in this unbelievably irresponsible manner. It should be easy to find new executives with enough common sense to know the difference between the cause of Jesus Christ and the causes of Marx.


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