From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Andrews, Other Church Leaders Mourn

Date 04 May 1996 20:49:38


95414          Andrews, Other Church Leaders Mourn  
                      Death of Yitzhak Rabin 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The Rev. James E. Andrews, stated clerk of the General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), joined the chorus of world 
religious leaders expressing outrage and sorrow over the assassination Nov. 
4 of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. 
     In a letter to Israeli officials in Jerusalem and Washington, D.C., 
Andrews praised Rabin as a man "who was able to make the journey from the 
search for security through military power to the achievement of security 
through ending enmity." 
     In Geneva, World Council of Churches general secretary Konrad Raiser 
issued a statement saying, "Yitzhak Rabin was wise enough to see that in 
these lands, considered holy by those who follow the three Abrahamic faiths 
(Christian, Jewish and Islam), there must be room for all and a way to live 
together in peace." 
     Joan Brown Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of 
Churches, said before leaving for Rabin's funeral: "On September 13, 1993, 
a man who had been renowned for his bravery and skills as a military leader 
took the ultimate risk, the risk of peace.  For that act of courage, 
Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin will be honored in perpetuity, not 
only by Israelis, but by lovers of peace everywhere." 
     The text of Andrews' letter: 
     "We are shocked and saddened by the death of Israel's Prime Minister 
Yitzhak Rabin, and gravely lament his loss as a peacemaker.  His 
assassination at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday, 4 November 1995, 
has left the world bewildered and bereft. 
     "We will remember him as a man who, touched by the Spirit of God, was 
able to make the journey from the search for security through military 
power to the achievement of security through ending enmity. 
     "On behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I extend sincere 
condolences to the family of Mr. Rabin, to the people of Israel and to all 
who are committed to continuing on the difficult road he chose to follow. 
     "On this day of mourning, we gratefully salute his spirit which we 
trust will live, ever more powerfully, through his successors who share his 
vision and determination to bring about an enduring peace between Israel 
and its neighbors. 
     "We pray for the success of that effort as a fitting memorial to Mr. 
Rabin, who reached out with the olive branch and died singing of peace." 
    Interfaith group suggests prayers for use by congregations 
     The U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East issued 
a statement calling for renewed efforts to find peace in the Middle East 
and urged congregations to pray for peace as part of their remembrances of 
Yitzhak Rabin.  The committee suggested the following prayers from the 
three religious traditions: 
     Jewish: O God, open our eyes to the opportunities of making this world 
into the world you ordained.  Help us to live up to the challenge of being 
your partners in the work of creation, bringing peace to this world and 
prosperity to all humanity.  We are blessed to be living in a time of 
possibility when Jews, Muslims and Christians can move beyond old wounds 
and create new realities.  May we work together to bring peace in the lands 
of the Middle East and to every corner of the earth.  Holy One of Blessing, 
we praise You for the blessing of peace.  Amen. 
     Christian: Gracious God, Creator and Sustainer of life, you bring us 
light in the darkness and water in the desert.  Two years ago, hope rose 
within us at the possibility for peace in the land of our spiritual 
heritage.  Yet the road to peace is long and hard, and we grow weary. 
Renew the strength of the peacebuilders.  Rekindle the fires of our passion 
for peace.  Raise up before us a vision of the new Jerusalem where mourning 
and crying and pain will be no more.  O God, source of our being and our 
hope, this is our most fervent prayer.  Amen. 
     Muslim: Almighty God, the Merciful and Compassionate, keep guiding us 
on the path to peace. Almighty God, send us the Light that leads to the 
true knowledge of your commandments.  Almighty God, in your Holy Quran you 
commanded, "If the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward 
peace, and trust in God, for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all 
things."  Almighty God, inspire the builders of peace to feel and think in 
unison that only peace can nurture peace.  Amen. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
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