World Council of Churches

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

Message to the Churches in Iraq

02 August 2004

2 August, 2004

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We are deeply shocked and distressed by the attack on churches in Baghdad andMosul. We unequivocally condemn this act. We mourn with those of you wholost their loved ones and pray for a speedy recovery for the injured.

The churches in Iraq have faithfully served the Iraqi people. You have worked formany years to foster co-citizenship in your country and promote dialogue among all the religious communities in Iraq. We shall continue supporting you as youstrive with fellow Iraqis to strengthen national unity and rebuild an independent country.

The World Council of Churches has always spoken out in the interest of all peopleof Iraq. We had condemned the imposition of sanctions that resulted in suf-fering of the people, particularly women and children. Subsequently, the WCC also condemned the war on Iraq as being immoral and illegal. It has affirmed itscommitment to a united, sovereign and democratic Iraq.

As Christians, and the whole people of Iraq, pass through these critical and turbulenttimes, our prayers are with you.

We hope that the forgiving spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ will help you to standfirm in faith and love in spite of the loss of lives and destruction of church properties. Please convey our sympathy and solidarity to the Christians of Iraq.

God remembers those who suffer
He does not forget their cry
And he punishes those who wrong them.
(Psalm 9:12)

Assuring you of our prayers,

Yours in God's Name,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches