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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Continue to pray

A few months ago thousands of citizens across Europe and Germany spontaneously gathered in streets and city squares to tearfully mourn with America and pray for us on Sept. 11. These past few months hundreds of thousands have again gathered to pray for peace. These services and marches haven’t been anti-American (at least not the ones I attended), but they have been anti-war, anti-violence as a lasting solution to the world’s problems.

The Europeans are deeply distressed. They repeatedly ask, “Why is Bush (fairly or unfairly, it’s always “Bush”) so impatient? Why does he insist on war now? Why is he so arrogant toward the United Nations and the rest of the world?”

I’ve tried to reassure them. “The American people are peace-loving. We won’t support an unjust war. Even if our president is impatient, our elected representatives and churches will be voices for reason, moderation and understanding.” And so we prayed, marched and sang, “We shall overcome” — together.


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