From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Newsline: International Brethren leaders respond to Iraq speech

From "COBNews Newsline" <>
Date Thu, 01 Feb 2007 17:49:50 -0600

Title: International Brethren leaders respond to Iraq speech Feb. 1, 2007 Church of the Brethren News Service Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, News Director 800-323-8039 ext. 260 --


(Feb. 1, 2007) Elgin, IL -- Leaders of international Church of the Brethren bodies were invited to consider giving their own responses to President Bush's speech on the Iraq war, as Stan Noffsinger considered his response to the Jan. 10 speech. Noffsinger serves as general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board in the United States (for his response go to

Following are responses received from the president of Igreja da Irmandade (the Church of the Brethren in Brazil), and from a leading pastor in Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren) in the Dominican Republic:

"The Igreja da Irmandade, which has its roots in Anabaptism and is a part of the Church of the Brethren, one of the three historic peace churches, publicly expresses its deep concern about the recent decision of the President of the United States, George W. Bush, to send more troops to Iraq. We truly believe and understand, considering Jesus' teaching, 'Blessed are the peacemakers,' that those who decide for war lack wisdom in their decision, and have no wisdom to make other decisions rather than to stop the war. Thus, for us, to send more troops is maintaining a foolish decision that started the war and is a sinful and cursed decision. Also, we believe that wisdom comes from the communitarian interpretation of history and decision making process. The decision to start the war was against the general understanding of the nations and the Security Council of the United Nations. Again, the recent decision to send more troops goes against the understanding of the nations and of the people in the United States. Democracy as a negotiating political system is not only to be preached and lived inside of the nation, but it must be true in the concert of the nations, as well. Additionally, we would like to say that the decision to start the war was based on reasoning that is untrue, as is very well-known now. We believe that a 'bad tree cannot produce a good fruit,' and the decision to start the war was based on false reasoning, so it cannot produce good fruits. As it has been our practice since the beginning of our church, we are praying for peace, and we prayed and will pray for the President of USA and others that are directly or indirectly involved in promoting peace and the core of these prayers is asking God to give them wisdom on their decisions. (Campinas, 27 de janeiro de 2007.)"

--Marcos R. Inhauser serves as president of Igreja da Irmandade, headquartered in Campinas, Brazil, and is national director of mission in Brazil for the Church of the Brethren.

"We were created for peace and war destroys our nature, the essence of that for which human beings were created. War creates hatred for generations and its damage is incalculable and irreparable. War fundamentally damages the feelings and emotions of the individual. Any type of war or aggression is intolerable for our Heavenly Father. In fact God says in his word, 'In peace I have come among you.' I understand that war is an evil that is planted firmly in the heart of humans and this is damaging because we can transfer this evil to future generations. Jesus said, 'My peace I give to you. My peace I give, not as the world gives do I give to you.' Given that we understand this, the human being is mistaken in his own concept of peace being used in the world; he does not understand clearly what peace means."

--Felix Arias Mateo is pastor of the Maranatha new church plant in San Juan de la Maguana, the Dominican Republic. He also serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Community Development Committee that supervises the church's microloan program in the DR. His statement is available in Spanish at

The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination committed to continuing the work of Jesus peacefully and simply, and to living out its faith in community. The denomination is based in the Anabaptist and Pietist faith traditions and is one of the three Historic Peace Churches. It celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2008. It counts about 130,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico, and has missions and sister churches in Nigeria, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and India.

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For more information contact:

Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford Director of News Services Church of the Brethren General Board 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 800-323-8039 ext. 260

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