VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/18/14)—In extended comments, Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, has expressed the deep anguish of American Baptists in the face of the continued escalation of conflict in the world this summer. “From the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to the mutual acts of violence between Israel and Hamas, more and more innocents are being killed as the perpetrators refuse the ways of peace.”
“The recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas only add to the enmity between the two and add yet another obstacle to the prayers and efforts of many to negotiate peace between Israel and Palestinians. This most recent armed conflict arose from the tragic and horrible deaths of four innocent men and is now claiming even more innocents. While each side may seek short-term tactical gains they do so at great cost to themselves and the world as anger, resentment and revenge prevail over the hard work of a politically negotiated peace.”
“Likewise, the conflict in Ukraine is bringing untold suffering to that country and now to the families of the innocents on Flight 17,” said Medley.
Recalling the recent resolution on Ukraine adopted by the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance in Izmir, Turkey on July 11, 2014, Dr. Medley endorsed its call that the BWA:
“SUPPORTS as a worldwide Baptist family all efforts by the international community towards freedom, justice and peace for the whole of Ukraine, and all initiatives towards the reconciliation of those who have been in conflict with one another.
At the same time that these conflicts have dominated the news, we remain painfully aware of the continued conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is one of the bloodiest conflicts in the world. This conflict, which is largely ignored in the Western press, continues unabated.
Dr. Medley calls upon every American Baptist congregation to offer prayers this Sunday and each remaining Sunday through the month of August for peace and for those, especially the churches in each area, who labor for peace turning “spears into pruning hooks and swords into plowshares.”
May the Spirit of Christ, the Prince of Peace, strengthen and encourage them in this holy work.
Lastly, we pray for comfort of the families of the innocents in each of these conflicts.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.