Church Leaders Condemn Rush to War with Iraq

Article excerpt

Christian leaders including the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) have criticized the impetus towards a U.S.-led war against Iraq.

WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser termed military action "illegal, immoral and unwise."

In Canada, 16 church leaders, including Archdeacon Jim Boyles, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, have signed a letter urging Prime Minister Jean Chretien to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iraq situation.

"We write ... to cry no to such a war. This is a time for intense diplomacy and face-to-face negotiations, not for missiles and high-altitude bombing. This is especially a time for multilateralism: the world needs wisdom from every region if we are to grasp the full consequences of the choices confronting us," the letter read.

The churches urged Mr. Chretien to support a negotiated, peace-building approach "consistent with international law and taking the common good of Iraq's people as its starting point."

The letter was also signed by the leaders of the Roman Catholic, United, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Mennonite, Armenian Orthodox and other churches. The ecumenical social-justice groups Project Ploughshares and Kairos also signed. …