The following is a letter of condolence the Conference of European Churches has sent to its Member Churches in Greece (Church of Greece, Evangelical Church of Greece) responding to the devastating fires that have claimed a reported 91 lives and left many others suffering, wounded, and without shelter.
The Conference of European Churches joins with the voices of agony and grief of the Greek people as they face the apocalyptic tragedy of deadly and destructive fires on the Attic peninsula. The pain of this catastrophe reaches far—communities have been lost, and people around the world mourn friends and family.
We join in steadfast prayer with people of faith around the world for all victims—children, mothers and fathers, and the elderly—and for those still missing and injured from these fires. We commend to God all those touched by this immense loss.
Through this tragedy, Greece again finds itself at the epicenter of imminent threats to humanity and the entire planet. The fires, escalated by global warming, are a byproduct of environmental sin and indifference to the long term effects of human-caused catastrophic climate change. As such, they are call to all humanity for repentance and metanoia—a change in one’s way of life.
The burden of this tragedy is only aggravated by the reality of austerity measures forced upon Greek society, including to firefighting and rescue services.
As affected communities make their way forward from these darkest days, the churches in Europe will remain in solidarity with your Church and her people.