WASHINGTON: The National Council of Churches joins the Middle East Council of Churches in raising prayers for peace and for an end to the cycle of violence now expressed through Turkish attacks on northeast Syria. While the primary target of the Turkish invasion is the Kurdish population, for whom we are urgently concerned, we also have serious concerns for the Christian communities that are in the path of the Turkish military, including Syrian Orthodox, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians, as well as for the plight of the Yazidi peoples.
We are distressed by the sudden and ill-informed decision by President Trump to withdraw US forces, which acted as a buffer between warring groups, and as a check on Turkish and Russian aggression. We call for a withdrawal of Turkish forces from Syria and for immediate international diplomatic efforts to resolve the longstanding crises in the region. This includes the United States, which now finds itself in the role of contributing to what many of us fear is an impending genocide of the Kurds, and to a potential resurgence of terrorism as a by-product of the resulting destabilization of the region.
Our deepest beliefs as followers of the Prince of Peace is that war is evil. We are committed to the values of love, justice, human rights, interreligious dialogue, and common responsibility in peacebuilding.
“Why should you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence?”
-Jeremiah 27:13a NRSV