Geneva, August 11, 2021

Your Beatitude,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction" (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

As thousands of people struggle to come to terms with the trauma and devastation wrought by the recent wildfires in your country, I wish to express our solidarity with you and all those who have suffered loss of life and livelihoods.

The World Council of Churches (WCC), and all those within its fellowship of churches all around the world, are praying for you and all those seeking to provide for those in need.

It is becoming more and more obvious that the fires this year all over the world are not of the same scale as in previous years. They are part of the extreme phenomena increasingly observed as a consequence of the climate change. Human-induced climate change is accelerating and is fundamentally changing our only planetary home.

This tragic situation is mobilizing many countries that are joining their forces to rescue those suffering from such a natural catastrophe. We are also thankful for those professionals and volunteers who are participating in the operations risking their own lives.

In times of such crisis and grief one needs more than shelter, physical food and nourishment, and the churches are there to provide comfort and counsel, hospitality and hope, strength and solidarity. I express my deepest sympathy for the Church of Greece as they care for a growing number of people affected by wildfires.

I pray for the people in all communities ravaged by wildfires, I pray for those people who are unsure of their future, not knowing if they have lost everything.

I pray that God’s good grace and wisdom will empower and strengthen you, as the prophet Job was encouraged and strengthened, as you continue to lead the people through these difficult times.

“I know now that nothing is impossible to you; for everything you plan, you carry out.”

(Job 42:2).

Even in the biggest catastrophe, God is with us and carries us – and we can be assured that we always can direct us to him.

Yours in the Risen Lord,

Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
World Council of Churches