This letter is also available in Arabic
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My heart laments as I once more write to you in grief over the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut, killing 41 people. As before, this is violence that has an impact beyond one city or place, with effects upon what is already a region experiencing fragility and too often fear.
On behalf of the World Council of Churches I share the assurance of prayer for your leadership as churches as you seek to offer spiritual comfort to those who are experiencing grief and apprehension at this uncertain time. We offer our prayers for those directly affected by these acts of terrorism and their loved ones. This solidarity that we offer is grounded in prayer, yet strengthened also by our commitment to work with you in every way possible to seek a lasting peace for all.
We have joined the Middle East Council of Churches in emphatic condemnation of this act of despicable violence, and the WCC will continue to work with the MECC in its strenuous efforts to advocate for just peace in the region and in its denouncing of all attacks on innocent life. We share in the responsibility of advocacy with governments and those in authority to find peaceful solutions to complex and volatile conflicts. We recognize the immense practical efforts of the MECC and churches to minister to all who are affected by violence and fear.
As Christians, we must return always to the sources of our faith to be reminded of God’s presence with us, even when experiencing despicable assaults on the sanctity of life.
“God is in the midst of the city, it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:5, 11)
We share in the sorrow of those in Beirut, of all churches in Lebanon, Syria, and throughout the region. The World Council of Churches will not cease in its dedication to make known God’s desire that all in the Middle East share in an abundance of life characterized by justice and peace.
Yours in our Common Lord,
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary
Read also: Beirut bombings stir churches’ and WCC condemnations (WCC news release of 13 November)