World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Message of solidarity after earthquake in Iran

05 January 2004

Letter to H.E. Seyyed Mohamed Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
5 January, 2004

Your Excellency,

This letter was meant to be a letter of great appreciation and gratitude for your
visit to the World Council of Churches on December 11, and for the enlightening
reflections you shared with a highly interested audience of church leaders,
religious personalities, diplomats and intellectuals in Geneva.

But it is also a letter of sympathy and solidarity after the devastating earthquake
in Bam on December 26. We mourn with you the innocent victims of this
disaster, wish for the injured a quick recovery and hope that the relentless humanitarian
efforts of Iran, and the support from people of good will, will relieve the
homeless, shelter them and provide urgent health care.

Naturally, the World Council of Churches has an obligation to respond to the
tragic situation in your country. To this effect, an appeal was sent to churches and
related humanitarian agencies. Our coordinating body for humanitarian and emergency
assistance ACT, Action by Churches Together, has initiated a fund-raising
campaign and is presently working through operating partners, the Middle East
Council of Churches and Norwegian Church Aid. More partners will soon be joining
them. They are and will be in regular contact with the Iranian Red Crescent
Society, to assess the specific needs in order to swiftly and efficiently meet them.

All those affected by this tragedy are in our thoughts and prayers. May God,
in His infinite mercy, grant them consolation and resilience. May He bless Iran
and your Excellency.

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary