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World Methodists pray for peace

3/26/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York

By United Methodist News Service

The World Methodist Council has called upon its 132 member church bodies to pray for an end to the war in Iraq.

A statement released March 25 by His Eminence Sunday C. Mbang of Nigeria, council president, said it was "unfortunate" that the United States, United Kingdom and others had begun the war without the consent of the U.N. Security Council.

"The public opposition to the war demonstrates the non-regard for the principles of fairness and justice by the forces of coalition," the statement continued. "We are more disturbed that nonviolent positions were not exhausted before the mad rush to armed conflict.

"The council therefore calls upon the United States, United Kingdom and their supporters to end all hostilities in order to avoid the looming catastrophe that can only be the eventual outcome of this conflict."

World Methodist Council members also were asked to pray for all victims of the war, including the children of Iraq. "We pray that God will create a desire in the hearts of all people for peace, a desire that can only come from God," the statement concluded. "We pray also for those in military uniforms, for the innocent who are at risk, and for world leaders whose decisions can bring an end to this conflict."

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