Anglican peace groups pray for peace, protest war

March 28, 2003

The Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship have released a joint statement criticizing the American and British governments for initiating war with Iraq and calling for 'a better way than war to solve our differences.'

'Our Prime Minister and our President are confident we will unite to send our Armed Forces our thoughts and prayers. We must do more than that,' the statement said. 'Nurse Edith Cavell, before she was shot in the First World War, declared, 'Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone.' Our concern, as Christians, is not only for our own Forces, but for all the people of Iraq and throughout the Middle East.'

The statement recalls that the UN's chief weapons inspector had requested more time for inspections in Iraq before the initiation of hostilities. 'Instead, we invaded with massive force including the use of cluster bombs, whose unexploded fragments act like landmines to kill indiscriminately, and missiles tipped with depleted uranium whose long-term effects may well be deadly,' the statement said. 'Protests have failed to stop the war, but concerned voices may help to build the peace. We must insist that: the U.S. and U.K. Governments, having spent hugely on destruction, now spend equally on rebuilding and restoration; the United Nations, rather than the combatant nations, is in control of the reconstruction program; we ourselves say 'Never again' should unilateral national action be allowed.'