From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Andrews, Other Church Leaders Mourn
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
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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