From the Worldwide Faith News archives

NCC 'Deeply Grieved' at Attacks in Baghdad, Jerusalem

From "Nat'l Council of Churches" <>
Date Wed, 20 Aug 2003 15:18:09 -0400

National Council of Churches U.S.A.
For Immediate Release
August 20, 2003

NCC Deeply Grieved at Attacks on U.N.s Iraq Headquarters and Jerusalem

August 20, 2003, NEW YORK CITY - The general secretary of the National
Council of Churches U.S.A. today said he was deeply grieved at Tuesdays
attacks on the United Nations offices in Baghdad and on a bus in Jerusalem.

If we ever are to achieve a just peace, whether in Iraq or among Israelis
and Palestinians, the cycle of violence must be broken, said the Rev. Dr.
Robert W. Edgar. And in both situations, international collaboration toward
lasting solutions is crucial.

Both of Tuesdays attacks, while set in different contexts, killed and
injured innocent civilians and further stoked frustration and fear in the
wider population, he continued.

Moreover, the attack on the United Nations Baghdad offices - also a hub of
activity for non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian
assistance in Iraq - struck at the very people who are working for the
survival and well-being of ordinary Iraqi children, women and men.

In fact, Dr. Edgar said, many of them opposed the U.S.-led war and the
preceding decade-plus of economic sanctions that, according to the United
Nations, resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of children.

Dr. Edgar expressed particular grief at the death of the U.N.s special
envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was known and respected widely
for his commitment to resolving conflicts through peaceful means and to
ending suffering around the world.

We express our condolences and sympathy to all who lost family, friends and
colleagues in the Baghdad and Jerusalem attacks, he said.  We salute the
United Nations resolve to continue working in Iraq.  We call all parties to
exercise restraint and to refrain from violence, which only begets more

May all of us with any influence continue to press for a peaceful
resolution of these and other crises, never losing sight of the goal -
peace, security, food, shelter, education, work and other basic human rights
for all, Dr. Edgar concluded.


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