Statement: In Reference to the Situation in Iraq (25 March 2003)

Communiqué to the Faithful Concerning the Current Situation in Iraq

25 March 2003

In reference to the current situation in Iraq, the Assembly has not made any definitive statement on the issue, but we do encourage all to pray for the safety of the troops involved and that a peaceful and just solution is met as soon as possible. It is with deep sadness that we hear and see the reports concerning the current war in Iraq. It is obvious that after several attempts at reaching a peaceful solution, all such attempts were met without cooperation. At this time, in the Assembly’s delicate state, it would not be wise to take any side in the situation. No matter what side an individual takes on the issue, the Assembly will encourage everyone to continue to pray for those who are sent in defense of their country.

The Assembly does not condone the killing of innocent people under any circumstances, but at the same time, the Assembly understands the need for individual countries to defend themselves and that casualties of such innocent ones are usually a part of war itself. My heart is filled with compassion for the suffering of all nations involved with this war, in particular the innocent children, women, elderly, and the ailing.

We must put our complete trust in God and be sure that He will provide a way for His servants in any circumstance. Even death can not overrule the hand of our awesome and wonderful God.

In these sad circumstances full of threat and anxiety, all the faithful have the duty of standing as one in declaring their trust in Almighty God and in the sure word of hope as outlined in His Word, the Holy Scriptures. The recent events taking place in Iraq make this duty all the more imperative. A pursuit for true unity among all peoples of the Faith is a responsibility which can be brought by prayer, tolerance, and an attempt to understand the faith of our neighbor without judgment.

I ask that no one make judgmental, biased and intolerant statements in regards to those who may share an opposite view than yourself, and especially do I ask this in regards to those who do not proclaim the same faith. We all must be willing to learn why our neighbor believes what he or she does.

I urge the clergy to continually pray that a just outcome is met and that there is minimal loss of life in this most serious situation. I urge the clergy to further pray for the safety of the innocent and the soldiers who are serving to protect their land. May God grant us understanding for settling the situation as quickly as possible.

May God bless each one of you.

25 March 2003

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