Magazine article Anglican Journal

Church Leaders Warn of Escalation: Strikes Will Seem like Revenge, (Michael) Peers Says

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Church Leaders Warn of Escalation: Strikes Will Seem like Revenge, (Michael) Peers Says

Article excerpt

Archbishop Michael Peers, the Canadian Anglican Primate, has joined a growing chorus of religious leaders from around the world who question the wisdom of military strikes against Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Some of the leaders have cautioned against the pursuit of revenge. Others have called for an immediate end to the action.

In an interview, Archbishop Peers noted that although the United States has said the purpose of the military action, begun Thanksgiving weekend, is not to exact revenge for the September attacks, "it will certainly seem like revenge to the victims of the U.S. response."

That, he added, "opens up the prospect of an ever-widening downward spiral of violence and insecurity."

Archbishop Peers also questioned the likelihood that the U.S.-U.K. strikes will be effective. The "war" on terrorism, he said, like "wars" against poverty or drugs, is unconventional "and the United States does not have a terribly good track record with such wars. In the end, the problem still exists."

In other reactions, the World Council of Churches, a fellowship of more than 340 Protestant and Orthodox churches world-wide, urged the United States and United Kingdom to "bring a prompt end to the present action" and implored other nations not to join it.

"We do not believe that war, particularly in today's highly technologized world, can ever be regarded as an effective response to the equally abhorrent sin of terrorism," said Georges Lemopoulos, WCC acting general secretary.

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, spiritual leader of the world-wide Anglican Communion, said that the crisis "is not, and must not be seen as a confrontation between religions - or with a particular religion."

The mainstream Muslim Council of Britain, which had unreservedly condemned the September assaults on the United States, distanced itself from the attacks in Afghanistan. …

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