Dear sisters and brothers,

It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the tragic loss of the family members of your co-worker in Gaza during the current hostilities.

The loss of members of beloved family members in such circumstances, especially children and grandchildren, is a grief beyond the capacity of mere words to convey. It leaves us silent and with endless questions.

On this unutterably painful loss, we would like to send you – and through you to your bereaved co-worker and all your colleagues in the region – this sign of our deepest sympathy and condolences.

We condemn the current armed violence in the region. Such violence always harms innocent civilians the most. So our sadness and perplexity is all the greater.

We lament every one of the precious lives already lost, Palestinians and Israelis, in Gaza, in Ashkelon, in Lod and elsewhere. Armed conflict is never the right way. It only leads to further cycles of violence.

As Christians we can cry out all our grief and anger to our Lord. The absence of those dear ones is immense and will always remain. Every person is unique, precious and irreplaceable.

And yet our Christian faith is full of hope and confidence. In the book of Revelation we read:

“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21, 3-4)

If it is said that "God will wipe every tear from their eyes", this means that God will accompany and console us in every grief, even the greatest and most unimaginable. We are never alone. The Almighty is always with us and comforts us.

On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I offer my deepest condolences to you all. Yours in Christ,

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca Acting General Secretary

World Council of Churches