Dear Friends in Christ,
The grace of Christ be with you. We write out of our deep love for you to express our concern and assure you of our support in this painful time.
Our hearts are broken daily as we hear of devastation caused by individuals and groups motivated by prejudice, hatred, and religious bigotry. Their violence seems to know no bounds, as innocent children and adults are victimized by shootings, bombings, and acts of war.
We are especially anguished by the recent bombing in Baghdad and its impact on all who live in the region. We know that you are already burdened to the breaking point as you work to care for victims of ISIS and the casualties resulting from the military efforts in the region to defeat that twisted manifestation of Islam.
We know you have received the prayers offered by Laurie Kraus in our Presbyterian Disaster Assistance office and we continue to seek concrete ways to lend our support.
We confess, as citizens of the U.S., our complicity in the failures of cultural sensitivity and commitment that have marked our involvement in the region. Although our government has been well-intentioned, our frequent resort to military action has sometimes made it more difficult to find peaceful, long-term solutions to regional political and religious differences. In that regard we shall continue to work for justice and peace through our offices in Washington and at the United Nations, advocating for long-term solutions implemented through negotiation rather than military force.
We pray daily for your safety and for a just peace for Iraq. Through our work to provide resources for your efforts to care for those who are victims of this tragedy and through our advocacy, we seek to stand in solidarity with you in Christ.
The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)