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Solidarity message to the Church of Christ in Thailand

19 May 2010

Church of Christ in Thailand
Khet Ratchathevi
Bangkok
Thailand

Geneva, 19 May 2010

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

It is with a deep sense of sorrow that we receive the news of the continuing upsurge in violence which has led to the deaths of more than thirty people in Bangkok. We grieve with the people of Thailand at this intolerable loss of life and extend our condolences to the families of those that have died, neighbors who are victims of violence in their own right. 

We are greatly concerned that certain groups have sought to utilize violence as a means of achieving their political goals. We are alarmed at the use of deadly weapons by individuals and government during the course of this conflict. We urge the leaders of all parties to remember the pain and suffering that the people of Thailand have experienced in the past as a result of such violence manifesting itself in civil conflicts. Violence cannot be the solution. Therefore, we strongly urge a return to negotiations for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis, a process that can still hold out hopes for a resolution to the present situation in spite of the recent obstacles to dialogue.

We also deplore the way in which various forms of media are being used to fuel mistrust and label one’s opponents in order to justify one’s own political, social or economic agenda. We call upon all parties involved in the present crisis to exercise restraint in actions and words, and particularly to abandon violence as a means of solving problems.  In the days ahead there will need to be an open and thorough investigation of the actions taken by all sides so that those who resort to violence are held accountable to the rule of law.

I take this opportunity to express the firm solidarity of the World Council of Churches with the people of Thailand in this time of distress. I commend the Church of Christ in Thailand for their faithful witness to the Prince of Peace during this time of conflict and wish to encourage them to strengthen their work in seeking justice and peace for all.

At the same time I call upon all member churches within the fellowship of the WCC to join in prayers with the churches and Christians in Thailand. We pray that God’s spirit of peace will empower Christians and all people as they seek together a peaceful solution to the present violence. We pray for the Spirit of reconciliation to reside in the hearts of all peoples of Thailand so that they can work together to establish a just society in which all, regardless of political allegiance, share the right to enjoy the gift of life in all its fullness. We pray that the Spirit of righteousness will guide the political leaders so that they may seek a long term resolution that adequately addresses the concerns of the people and contributes to the building up of a strong, stable and united society working together for the common good. 

As we journey together may the peace of God guard our hearts and minds; and may the God of peace give us peace at all times and in every way. 

The Lord be with all of you.

Yours in Christ

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC General Secretary