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ELCA presiding bishop issues pastoral message on Iran conflict

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:9

The current crisis between the United States and Iran is worrisome for many of us in our church, in our nation and in the world. Our country and Iran need urgently to find ways to resolve our differences through a de-escalation of the current crisis, using diplomacy and other peaceful means.

Armed conflict and war are always tragic for those directly involved and often as well for civilians, who also may suffer under punitive sanctions. These situations are evidence of broken relationships.

Our social statement, “For Peace in God’s World,” offers guidance:

We of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America share with the Church of Jesus Christ in all times and places the calling to be peacemakers ….
The basis of the Church’s peace-calling is in God’s final peace, the peace of God’s eternal reign. That calling is to proclaim the Gospel of God’s final peace and to work for earthly peace.

For our part, we have a window of opportunity to stop the current conflict before it worsens. We should appeal now to our elected officials to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy with Iran — for our sake, for the sake of the people of Iran and for the sake of the world God so loves.

In peace,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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