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Condolence letter in wake of St Petersburg attack, 4 April 2017

The WCC general secretary offers condolences to the Russian people after the tragic and senseless deaths of eleven people and injury to dozens more in subway bombing in St. Petersburg on 3 April.

04 April 2017

His Holiness Kirill I
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Russian Orthodox Church

Geneva, April 4, 2017

Your Holiness,

I address you today on behalf of hundreds of churches and millions of Christians worldwide in conveying our sincere condolences to you and to the Russian people after the tragic and senseless deaths of eleven people and injury to dozens more in yesterday’s subway bombing in St. Petersburg.

We stand with you and with all the people of Russia in solidarity and sympathy. Here at the Ecumenical Centre, we pray for the victims and their families in their grief and anguish. Yet even as we share the pain of this event, we must also be very clear that there is no cause, religious or political or otherwise, that can justify taking human lives in such an indiscriminate, indeed cowardly, way. We condemn it wholly.

You have roundly and rightly denounced terrorism in whatever guise it presents itself, and in your remarks during your visit to the United Kingdom and again in your statement with Pope Francis you have urged unity in combatting this scourge:

“We call on all the countries involved in the struggle against terrorism to responsible and prudent action. We exhort all Christians and all believers of God to pray fervently to the providential Creator of the world to protect His creation from destruction and not permit a new world war. In order to ensure a solid and enduring peace, specific efforts must be undertaken to rediscover the common values uniting us, based on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We join you wholeheartedly in this hard work of reconciliation and love. Especially in these difficult times and baffling circumstances, it is our unity of commitment to peace, unity in prayer, unity in discipleship at the service of reconciling all peoples, and unity in faith and hope in Jesus Christ that we pray will sustain you, your people, and all of us as we labour diligently to counter violence and seed God’s reign of peace on earth.

Yours sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit General Secretary

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