On the heels of a resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, a report calling on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to celebrate and strengthen its ecclesial relationship with the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba was overwhelmingly recommended for approval Monday by a committee of the 222nd General Assembly (2016).

By a 46-2 vote, the Committee on Peacemaking and International Issues recommended for approval “New Hopes and Realities in Cuban-American Relations: A ‘Nuevo Momento'” a report from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy that calls the PC(USA) and IPRC “sister churches” and highlights their shared history, faith tradition and participation in ecumenical bodies.

The measure would update a partnership agreement between the PC(USA) and IPRC in light of new hopes and realities and assess new opportunities for mutual mission.

In other action, the committee:

  • Approved an overture from the Presbytery of Muskingum Valley calling for the affirming of non-violent means of resistance against human oppression in American society and throughout the world.
  • After lengthy debate, the committee approved an overture from the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse that urges the denomination to ask the United States government to acknowledge its role in the killing of nearly 300 Korean civilians near the village of No Gun Ri in July 1950. It also instructs the Stated Clerk to communicate to the president and members of Congress the denomination’s desire that the nation consider compensating the surviving victims and the families of the victims. The committee rejected sections calling for a meeting between surviving U.S. troops involved in the incident and surviving Koreans or relatives of the deceased, as well as the creation of a memorial.
  • Approved an overture from the Presbytery of Chicago recommending that the General Assembly call on the United States government and other international bodies to join together to promote credible, fair and transparent elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The overture, which also calls for the United States and other nations to offer encouragement and financial and technical support to the Congolese government to provide quality education for its children and youth, passed by a vote of 48-1.