Response to Denial of Visas to Delegates to the 2003 Lutheran World Federation Assembly
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA03.06.29
Passed by the 2003 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has reported that approximately 50 people from 13 different countries were unable to attend the LWF Assembly in Winnipeg, Canada, July 21-31, 2003, because they were unable to obtain Canadian visas; and
WHEREAS, all those who did not receive visas were exclusively residents of the southern hemisphere; and
WHEREAS, many of those not receiving visas were from some of the poorest countries and included in particular women, youth, and members of indigenous and marginalized communities; and
WHEREAS, the denial of visas prevented many members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) from experiencing the joyful healing of the world that comes through worshiping and communing with brothers and sisters in faith from around the world; and
WHEREAS, it is especially important that the ELCA—a close neighbor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)—based in the United States, the closest neighbor to Canada, add its voice to that of Lutherans from throughout the world; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA request its presiding bishop, in consultation with National Bishop Raymond Schultz of the ELCIC, to express to the Canadian government, through appropriate diplomatic means, the ELCA’s disappointment and concern over the denial of visas to delegates to the Lutheran World Federation’s 2003 Assembly.