"The statement also lauded the courageous stance of
church leaders, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, 'in
direct opposition to the positions taken by their political leadership .(www.HolyLandPhotos.org)...
War on Iraq Immoral: World Churches
Saturday, February 22 2003 @ 04:17 AM GMT
GENEVA - The World Council of Churches (WCC), which groups Christian and
Orthodox churches worldwide, on Friday, February 21, branded as immoral
and unwise looming U.S.-British war on Iraq and praised U.S. and British
churches for standing up to politicians in their countries.
The WCC executive committee said in a statement that it "strongly
deplores the fact that the most powerful nations of this world again
regard war as an acceptable instrument of foreign policy," Agence
France-Presse (AFP) reported.
"War against Iraq would be immoral, unwise, and in breach of the
principles of the United Nations Charter," it averred after a
Humanitarian Crisis Of Grave Magnitude
Warning of a humanitarian crisis of grave magnitude, the WCC also
appealed to the U.N. Security Council to "strictly limit the
legitimate use of military force and to refrain from creating negative
precedents and lowering the threshold for using violent means to solve
The statement also lauded the courageous stance of church leaders,
especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, "in direct
opposition to the positions taken by their political leadership."
On Thursday, February 20, the leaders of Britain's two major Christian
churches joined growing public opposition to military action, casting
doubt on British Prime Minister Tony Blair's moral argument and urging
more time for U.N. weapons inspections.
"20 years of inspections are more effective, less costly and more
relevant than 20 days of war," the WCC executive committee said.
It recognized the need to disarm Iraq, but it also said there was a need
"to make the whole Middle East region free from weapons of mass
The WCC groups 342 Christian churches -- Protestant, Anglican and
Orthodox, but not the Roman Catholic Church.
Philippines Church, Students Join Opposition to Iraq War
Churches' opposition to war on Iraq extended to Manila, where nuns,
students and activists made up a crowd of 1,000 Friday at an anti-war
rally led by Philippine Church leader Cardinal Jaime Sin at a Roman
Catholic Church shrine, AFP said.
The nuns and students lit candles while members of the Bayan group
unfurled anti-war and anti-United States banners as the Manila
archbishop celebrated mass.
Sin, in his homily, urged the faithful to "proclaim the gospel of
peace to a humanity strongly tempted by hatred and violence."
Echoing Vatican Pope John Paul II, who has been exerting efforts to
prevent a U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq, the cardinal said:
"We must not be resigned as though war is inevitable."
On Monday, January 13, the Pope renewed his opposition to the potential
military action against Iraq, saying that all diplomatic means to break
the deadlock should be exhausted before war be declared the "very
"Let us allow international law, honest dialogue, solidarity
between states and the noble exercise of diplomacy to take root in our
efforts for peace."
President Gloria Arroyo has been a staunch supporter of U.S. President
George W. Bush's hard-line Iraq policy.
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