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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Churches condemn violence

Relief sent as Israel and Hezbollah battle

The outbreak of war between Israeli and Hezbollah forces is dramatic proof that the region’s struggle for peace has failed miserably, said Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

“Injustice continues. We are very sorry that the situation has come to this point,” Younan said. When the hostilities end, he added, everyone will need to examine themselves and ask why such violence was able to break out and why peace attempts have been unsuccessful.

“This is war—it is not [just] a military operation,” Younan said. “We [can] see that in Galilee and in Beirut. One [side] wants to demolish the other. We denounce wars. At the end of the day the extremists are the winners. … All our young people are seeing is war and war.”

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson issued a July 17 pastoral letter condemning the violence and asking congregations “to pray for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Likewise, Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, called for “a clear rejection of all violence as a means of securing peace, together with a genuine commitment to justice for all the people of the Holy Land.”


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