United Methodist Church Loses 1 Million Members in a Single Day over LGBT Affirmation

The Rev. David Meredith, left, and the Rev. Austin Adkinson sing during a gathering of tho
AP Photo/Peter Smith

The United Methodist Church (UMC) lost more than a million members in one fell swoop last week, with a large West African conference voting to leave the organization due to its acceptance of LGBT clergy and marriages.

The United Methodist Church of Ivory Coast (Eglise Méthodiste Unie Côte d’Ivoire or EMUCI) renounced their UMC membership on May 28 “for reasons of conscience before God and His word,” La Croix International reported

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After holding UMC membership since 2008, EMUCI said the church “deviates from the Holy Scriptures” and prefers “to sacrifice its honor and integrity to honor the LGBTQ community.”

The Ivorian conference was one of the denomination’s largest groups, and last reported more than a million members.

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An LGBTQ+ flag flies over Union United Methodist Church in the South End of Boston on January 5, 2020. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

EMCUI’s decision comes in response to the U.S.-based UMC’s vote in May to repeal the decades-long ban on LGBT clergy and marriages, which sparked a mass exit of congregations around the world. 

The UMC’s decision passed 692-51 at its general conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, NPR reported

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EMUCI’s president, Bishop Benjamin Boni, declared that UMC “now rests on socio-cultural values that have consumed its doctrinal and disciplinary integrity.”

More than 4,000 congregations exited the UMC in just the first six months of 2023 over its embrace of LGBTQ+ ideology, Breitbart News reported

In this April 19, 2019, file photo, a gay pride rainbow flag flies along with the U.S. flag in front of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

As the organization continues to hemorrhage members, the Korean Methodist Church — which has about 1.5 million members — is also considering leaving, the Christian Post reported Monday. 

“Homosexuality cannot be accepted until the Lord returns. This is not an emotional issue but a matter of unchangeable truth. Homosexuality is clearly a sin,” a coalition of Korean Methodists said in a statement. “This is an issue concerning the sanctity of life that the church must teach correctly, without compromise.”


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