Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA Adopts Report on Suicide

Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA Adopts Report on Suicide

Article excerpt

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has adopted a message encouraging its members to contribute to efforts to prevent suicide. The lengthy report, adopted November 14, states that with more than 30,000 people committing suicide in the U.S. each year, those deaths outnumber the total of homicide victims. In addition, each year close to 500,000 people attempt suicide in ways that lead to emergency room treatment.

"Suicide testifies to life's tragic brokenness," the message reads. "We believe that life is God's good and precious gift to us, and yet life for us ourselves and others sometimes appears to be hell, a torment without hope." Rather than ignore or avoid those who may have suicidal tendencies, Lutherans are urged to join in the growing awareness of suicide as a public health problem.

The report details how suicide affects people of all ages and all ethnic and religious groups, but notes categories in which suicide is more frequent. For example, it states that people living in a home with a firearm are almost five times more likely to die from suicide than people who live in a household without guns. …

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