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Resolution of the 2002 provincial synod

Resolution of the 2002 provincial synod of the Protestant Church in Rhineland concerning Afghanistan.

Political peace initiative after the 11th of September 2001

The 11th of September 2001 made the vulnerability of our lives clear once again. We grieve for the victims in New York and Washington, as well as the victims in Afghanistan. At the same time we warn against using the death of so many people as an opportunity for retaliation, giving rise to new violence.

The 11th of September 2001 is not a turning point in history. The claim that our living situation has fundamentally changed since then is wrong in face of the uncountable dead from wars and civil wars in our time.

We lament and abhor terror and violence. Our lament is connected to the admission of our own failures and our own guilt. We acknowledge that through our dominance of world resources we make use of privileges that sanction the injustice in the world.

Our profession of loyalty to Jesus Christ urges us, in unlimited solidarity with the poor, to support a more just world for everyone. Terrorism can first effectively be deprived of its breeding ground through an "anti-poverty coalition."

We thank congregations, peace services and initiatives that have been working for this goal for years within the framework of the conciliar process and now again in the ecumenical Decade to Overcome Violence. In the present state of world affairs we call on all congregations to participate even more with concrete projects.

We pray for the employees of civilian peace services and aid agencies, as well as the soldiers in the UN peace troops. With their different missions they are facing assignments whose chances of success are uncertain and connected to high personal risk. We share the concerns of their relatives.

We call to mind the ethical and political peace orientation of the council of the Protestant Church in Germany from the year 1994 "Schritte auf dem Weg zum Frieden" (Steps on the Way to Peace), and the pastoral statement of the German bishops´conference "Just Peace" from the year 2000, in which clear limitations for the use of military force are placed and the priority of civilian conflict resolution is emphasized.

We recall the statement of our American partner church, the United Church of Christ, from October 12, 2001:
"As Christians we confess that violence has been met by further violence, that we have turned from the way of the Cross to the way of the sword, that God´s intentions are once again denied, that the vision of just peace remains elusive in a world fascinated by military might. …
Every human being has a right to be free from the threat of terror. The fear we experience is very real, yet as Christians we also know it must not control us. …
While we recognize that the rule of law must be enforced, we have grave reservations about a large scale military response to terrorism by our government and its allies."

As a church in an allied country we share these grave reservations and add:
Even when terrorism destroys the foundations of human cohabitation, war is an unsuitable weapon against it. However, the employment of the military in regions of war and civil war for the purpose of stabilizing the political and social conditions and of re-establishing stable and functioning governmental order must be possible under the mandate of the United Nations. At the same time, we acknowledge that military intervention means the failure of politics and entangles us in new guilt.

The tightening of laws and the limiting of fundamental rights for the purpose of taking into account people´s legitimate need to live unthreatened must respect the boundaries of appropriateness at all costs. All those in positions of responsibility are urged not to poison the atmosphere of different groups living together in our society by casting suspicion on minorities and dissenters, thereby avoiding an unacceptable militarization of thought and speech.

Lasting efforts at civilian conflict resolution are made more difficult by the announcement of further military action in other regions of the world. We warn against new wars putting a strain on the defeat of terrorism by peaceful means, and in the end making it impossible.

The motions document 12, numbers 21, 22, 29, 41, 47 and 53 are hereby settled.




Hinweis: Dies ist ein archivierter Beitrag vom Mittwoch, 23. Januar 2002. Die letzte Aktualierung erfolgte am Mittwoch, 11. August 2010. Grundsätzlich verändern wir Achivbeiträge nicht, ggf. sind einzelne Informationen und Links veraltet.


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