From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Middle East Churches "Horrified by Violence"
Wed, 12 Sep 2001 11:45:19 EDT
For further information contact:
(Rev. Dr.) Riad Jarjour
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)
JERUSALEM, September 12, 2001--The Middle East Council of Churches,
representing Catholic, Protestant, Eastern and Oriental Orhodox Churches
throughout the Middle East, sent the following message to friends and
colleagues in the United States today:
Dear friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ in the United States,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father's love and mercy, and
solace of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, surround and bear you up on
this morning after the day of tragedy.
The world -- we all -- stopped, horrified. The massive scale of the
violence particularly in New York but also in Washington has been
beyond belief. Imagination cannot picture what may be its
repercussions as anger yields to cries for vengeance. Almost
instantly the images flooded out over the TV networks, horrific
descriptions over our radios. Where we were first touched was in our
human soul. We were caught up in the agony of individuals amplified
manifold. And words are not enough to describe this even though that
is all that we have at the moment.
I wish to express to our friends in the United States our profound
condolences for the loss of loved ones. In gathering after gathering
in America, Christians will lift up their hearts in prayer. We assure
you that we too are gathering, and our prayers join yours. We ask for
healing beyond understanding, we pray for courage beyond our outrage
and fear. We ask for the grace, the steadfast poise of faith, to
stand with integrity and minister in an ever more dangerous world.
We are devastated by the bestiality that can infect ordinary human
beings and transform them into mass murderers and deranged suicides.
Evil raised its head. Its taunting must be resisted. Evil does not
overcome evil; it augments it. Christ taught us that. The
democratization of terror and violence on a massive scale points to a
profound distortion in the human spirit of our times. And as those
who bear the Gospel of Peace, it is this distortion we must overcome.
With you we mourn the innocent dead; we bewail our own loss of
innocence, our loss of confidence, our loss of a sense of security. And we
do so out of a Middle East that has known more than its fair
share of death, disillusionment and fear over all-too-many decades.
But with you too we are determined that death shall have no dominion.
Your hope and our hope will not be crushed.
In the name of all the member churches of the Middle East Council of
Churches, in the name of our presidents and staff, I stretch out to
you our love and compassion in Christ's name and for his sake. We
break one bread and are one Body. Holding to that reality with a firm
grip, you will rise above this tragic moment and, with you, we too
will rise. Let us together seek the healing of the nations, and
overcome this and all evil with good.
In Christ's name and in his peace that passes understanding,
Riad Jarjour, general secretary
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