Irish Churches’ 10 Affirmations on Migration, Diversity and Interculturalism

ICC ten affirmations booklet coverIn 2009, Irish churches issued ten affirmations on migration, diversity and interculturalism. The declaration was formally endorsed by The Irish Inter-Church Meeting, The Irish Council of Churches as well as some individual churches. The associated booklet is still available online.

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Irish Churches’ 10 Affirmations on Migration, Diversity and Interculturalism

In issuing these Affirmations, the Irish Inter-Church Committee and the constituent Churches of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting recognise the significant changes over the past decade in the fabric of our Church communities and of society as a whole.

We are seeking to ensure that the following Affirmations, founded on Gospel values, will inform and drive the plans, processes and programmes of our Churches as they, individually and together, strive to live out the mission of Christ in an increasingly diverse and intercultural society.

We affirm our commitment as Christian Churches:

1. To recognise and appreciate cultural and ethnic diversity as gifts of God, and to ensure that these gilts are reflected in the life of the Church.

2. To foster faith communities where the rights of each person are respected and where scope is provided for each person’s potential to be realised

3. To work towards inclusive communities, paying particular attention to addressing racism and xenophobia in attitudes, actions. practices and policies.

4. To explore and adopt ways of worship, systems of administration and other structures so that they fully respond to and reflect the Church membership.

5. To defend the rights of migrants in accordance with international and national laws and standards on migration.

6. To advocate for the rights of all migrants, in particular the right to family life.

7. To support and assist migrants in appropriate, practical ways in their efforts to integrate in Church and society.

8. To establish networks with migrant-led Churches and chaplaincies by fostering co-operation and collaboration with them in providing pastoral care and support to migrants.

9. To seek the development of appropriate services for migrants and to draw attention to the need for public services generally to be responsive to the circumstances of migrants.

10. To work together as Churches and to network with people of other faiths and none to promote a greater understanding between denominations and other faiths and none, ensuring the growth of a society based on respect, dignity and equal rights for all its members.

We offer these Affirmations in the hope that they will guide our Churches and communities in their efforts to contribute towards achieving a just, fair, equitable and harmonious society. In order to ensure the practical application of this document, we invite our member Churches to report each year on the progress made in implementing measures to give effect to the ten commitments outlined above.

These Affirmations were agreed in 2009 by the constituent member churches which at the time were: The Roman Catholic Church, The Antiochian Orthodox Church, The Church of Ireland, The Greek Orthodox Church in Britain and Ireland, LifeLink Network of Churches, The Lutheran Church in Ireland, The Methodist Church in Ireland, The Moravian Church (Irish District), The Non–Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland, The Rock of Ages Cherubim and Seraphim Church, The Romanian Orthodox Church in Ireland, The Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland, The Salvation Army (Ireland Division)