Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons has condemned the Aug. 26 terrorist attack on the United Nations compound in Abuja, Nigeria, that killed or injured a number of people.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that the U.N. did not yet have precise casualty figures but “they are likely to be considerable,” adding that a number of people are dead and many more are wounded.
The compound in Abuja, a series of buildings that house the offices of 26 U.N. humanitarian and development agencies, was struck by a car bomb at around 11 a.m. local time on Friday (Aug. 26). Hundreds of U.N. staff members were working in the compound at the time of the attack.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) holds consultative status with the United Nations and works with United Nations colleagues through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.
The full text of Parsons’ statement, dated Aug. 29:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is deeply saddened to hear of the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria on August 26, 2011. We pray for healing and strength for those who were injured and for the family and friends of those who were killed.
We deplore the use of violence and call for dialogue, discussion, and diplomacy. We give thanks for United Nations personnel whose work on behalf of others provides an example of living Christ’s call to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Since before the founding of the United Nations, Presbyterian General Assemblies affirmed the need for international cooperation. Through the years, General Assemblies have continued to affirm the work of the United Nations for peace, justice, and development around the world. The 207th General Assembly (1995) expressed this clearly when it reaffirmed “the church’s historic support for the United Nations as an institution of peacemaking and peace building.”