With the commencement of hostilities in Iraq, the Communication Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, on behalf of the President's Office, issues the following statement:
The outbreak of war in Iraq is yet another opportunity for people of faith to stand for hope in the face of despair. Seventh-day Adventist Christians are people of peace who join with their fellow world citizens in praying for a speedy end to the current hostilities.
As a faith community active in every nation on Earth, we cannot view any country as a nation of villains, but rather see them as people for whom God's Son, Jesus Christ, died. We remember the hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist Church members in Iraq, who worship in three congregations including Baghdad and the ancient city of Nineveh; our fervent prayers are with them and for all who are connected with this conflict.
We recommit ourselves to minister hope in the midst of hopelessness. We wish to offer healing and be responsive to those whose lives have been shattered, wherever they are. This is an integral part of our calling.
Churches should not only be known for spiritual contributions -- though these are foundational -- but also for their support of quality of life, and in this connection peacemaking is essential. We appeal to Christians and people of good will all around the world to take an active role in making and sustaining peace, thus being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.*
As we pray and work for peace to prevail, we also recognize -- and declare -- that the only true peace will come when that blessed hope of Christ's return to Earth is a reality. May that day come soon, and may that hope shine brightly even in these dark hours.
*"A Seventh-day Adventist Call for Peace," General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee, April 18, 2002.
Statement released on March 20, 2003 by the Communication Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, on behalf of the President's Office, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.