By Melissa Ramirez Cooper, Associate director, ELCA Publications and Public Relations
Lutheran leaders in the United States and worldwide are condemning the Nov. 12-13 attacks that resulted in loss of lives in Beirut and Paris.
On the evening of the Paris attacks the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), tweeted: “It is night in Paris now – a night of grief, anger, loss. Christ is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.”
In a joint statement, the Rev. Munib A. Younan and the Rev. Martin Junge conveyed their condolences “to all people suffering with the loss of the many lives that these attacks have caused.”
Younan is president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Junge is LWF general secretary. The LWF a global communion of 144 churches representing more than 70 million Christians in 79 countries. The ELCA is the communion’s only member church from the United States.
In the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, armed gunmen killed more than 120 people and wounded more than 350 others. More than 40 people died and hundreds of others injured in suicide bombings Nov. 12 in Beirut.
“We pray for the victims of the attacks, as well as for those mourning and seeking consolation,” said Younan and Junge. According to a Nov. 14 LWF news entry, the two leaders “noted that the recent attacks should not discourage efforts by people of faith to work together to promote peace and justice, and reiterated an emphatic “no” to using religious motives to justify violence.” Younan and Junge affirmed the role of people of faith in such times: “This is a time for churches, synagogues and mosques to pray and work even harder for peace within and among their communities, and to do this together wherever possible.”