Let anniversary of September 11 attacks lead to peace and healing says WCRC

World Communion of Reformed Churches
News Release
07 September 2011

Let the tenth anniversary of attacks on sites in the United States mark a time both of remembrance and of renewed commitment to peace, says a global organization of Protestant churches. The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is inviting its 230 member churches worldwide to join in prayers for those who lost loved ones in attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on 11 September, 2001.

The president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) Jerry Pillay, says in a message from South Africa: “The enormous suffering experienced by the families of American and foreign nationals working in New York and Washington at the time, has formed tragic links with victims of terrorist attacks in other countries in recent years. It is time to resolve differences with dialogue and peace building rather than with weapons of mass destruction in whatever form.”

“WCRC member churches in North America and the Caribbean send our prayers and condolences to those who mourn,” says Yvette Noble-Bloomfield, WCRC’s vice-president for the region. “We pray for comfort for those who are hurting. And we pray that a spirit of healing and reconciliation will emerge from the ashes of this disaster.”

“This is a time of pain relived and grief remembered,” says Douwe Visser, WCRC’s acting General Secretary. “We are thinking of those who were bereaved by the attacks and hold them up in our prayers as we approach the anniversary of this event that changed the course of American history.”

“WCRC celebrates American churches as they seek to draw on the country’s rich history of tolerance and inclusion. We recognize how challenging Christ’s message of love for one’s enemy is in these days of tragic memories and know that churches are seeking to be faithful to the Christian gospel message that calls us to healing and reconciliation, a costly discipleship,” says Noble-Bloomfield.

“Churches in the United States and worldwide are left with questions,” says Visser. “Is there room in the aftermath of such events for the Gospel message of forgiveness? Does Jesus teaching us to love our enemies and do good to those who harm us apply to a situation like this?” the Dutch theologian asks.

At the end of September churches from the region will be meeting the Dominican Republic around the theme of “Who is my neighbour?” This theme reflects concern for what it means to be a neighbour in the post-9/11 era. WCRC has 21 member churches in the United States and Canada and in the Caribbean region.

WCRC was created in June 2010 through a merger of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC). Its 230 member churches representing 80 million Christians are active worldwide in initiatives supporting economic, climate and gender justice, mission, and cooperation among Christians of different traditions.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations represents the WCRC in the UN community.

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