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The “aggressions and hostile rhetoric” threaten the presence of the Christian minority, says the global evangelical body. “Pray for and end to the cycles of violence and death that beset the Middle East”.
The latest clashes between Iran and the United States has raised the tension in the Middle East, causing a serious international diplomatic crisis.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has responded to the latest events, marked by the attack against a US embassy in Iraq, the killing of Iran’s top general, and the protests in Tehran after a passengers plane was mistakenly shot down.
The WEA has said it “deeply grieves the recent acts of aggression and violence” between the two countries. The global evangelical body calls “these countries, and their allies, to resist hostile rhetoric and to de-escalate the current crisis”.
“We encourage dialogue that prevents further crises and leads to the removal of sanctions which disproportionally impact civilians”.
“Guided by our belief that each human bears the image of God and enjoys inherent dignity, and pursuant to our scriptural responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation, we further call on all citizens worldwide, especially evangelicals, to express political and ideological differences in a manner that does not demean, denigrate or de-humanize”.
The violence playing out in Iraq further threatens the presence of Christians in the country, “whose numbers since 2003 have drastically dwindled”, says the statement. “The protection of Christians and other religious communities in Iraq requires active support for peace and stability from the international community, and puts an onus on the United States and Iran to pursue de-escalation and dialogue”.
“The WEA calls for prayer for the political and military leaders of Iran, Iraq and the United States—and all leaders and peoples of the region—that they might seek and possess peaceable wisdom from above, leading to the path of peace. We pray also that this discernment might include de-escalation of conflict, dialogue and the re-establishment of trust, and an end to the cycles of violence and death that beset the Middle East”.