New List of Faith Communities Statements vs US Military Strike in Syria

 In Syria

From our partners at Win Without War

“Even in Syria, there are alternatives to war. The only road to peace is dialogue; war will not take us anywhere. I have seen thousands of civilian victims of the violence. We are in need of someone who brings us hope for peace, not a new charge of hatred.”[Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, 08/28/13]

“My heart is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming. I appeal strongly for peace. Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.”[Pope Francis I, 09/03/13]

“Will they make us breathe the toxic gases of the depots they hit, tomorrow, so as to punish us for the gases we have already breathed in? A word from Obama? Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner drop his sentence of war onto us? Despite all justice, all common sense, all mercy, all humility, all wisdom?” [The Trappist nuns from Azeir, Syria, 08/29/13]

“Pax Christi International is deeply concerned about the latest events in Syria. While we unequivocally condemn the use of chemical weapons, regardless of who perpetrated the attack, Pax Christi pleads with the nations of the world to recognize the responsibility and authority of the UN Security Council to address this egregious violation of international law and morality and to work with the United Nations to protect – without escalating the violence – the Syrian people. This should be done through urgent diplomatic efforts to stop immediately the flow of arms to both sides and to all militant groups and to bring all stakeholders in the conflict to the negotiating table.  Many states have helped fuel the armed conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the region; now it is time for the International community to cooperate fully on an arms embargo and to unequivocally back dialogue that alone can end the horrific violence. As part of the political solution, serious consideration should be given to deploying an unarmed or minimally armed multinational police force to Syria to begin to secure zones of non-violence in support of Syrians committed to peace.”  [Pax Christi International, 08/29/13]

“War is still a defeat for humanity. No one questions the obscenity of murdering a thousand people – many of them children – with poison gas, nor the moral indignation that people around the world feel at this atrocity and crime against humanity. What many do question, however, including military veterans in Congress, is the wisdom of a military strike by the U.S. in Syria. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq also began with military strikes, caused the destruction of hundreds of thousands of Afghan, Iraqi, and American lives, and lasted more than a decade after 9/11. Military strikes are an act of war, and the violence of one strike can spiral out of control into a full-blown war. This is a crucial moment in history – and the U.S. can pursue the path of war, or the path of dialogue and negotiations, of true peacemaking. But the churches and people of all faith traditions should be leading the way, with our voices and by our witness.” [Pax Christi USA, 08/31/13]

“The use of chemical weapons is particularly abhorrent and we urgently pray for the victims of such atrocities and for their loved ones. We applaud the work done by those bringing humanitarian aid to people affected by this crisis and pray for their efforts to ease the suffering of our brothers and sisters.” [US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 09/03/12]

“We fear that a U.S. military strike not only could cause more bloodshed and destruction for the Syrian people, but it could start a new spiral of violence in the region.  There are options beyond the false choice of a military strike or doing nothing in the wake of recent killings.  Options that need to be robustly pursued include: strong, multi-lateral diplomacy through the U.N. bringing all parties and regional actors to the table, protecting the Syrian community, stopping the flow of arms to all sides, and upholding the ban on chemical weapons.” [Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, 09/04/13]

“NETWORK joins with other faith leaders and the world community in deploring ongoing violence in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian people. As the world community debates what can or should be done to alleviate that suffering, NETWORK stands strong in our belief that violence is not the solution as it only begets more violence. In this case, bombing will not achieve peaceful goals. Instead, it will invite further retaliation, including against the Syrian people who have already suffered so much. We believe that diplomatic and political solutions, combined with humanitarian aid, are far more effective than military force when addressing crises such as this. We therefore support the following immediate actions:

  • Intensify U.S. diplomatic engagement with other nations in order to strengthen our call for a ceasefire and immediate peace negotiations among all involved
  • Ensure quick access by humanitarian organizations to the people of Syria
  • Provide humanitarian assistance to all who have been affected, including refugees.”

[NETWORK: National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, 09/04/13]

“No moralist supports the actions of the regime of Bashar Assad or the use of chemical weapons. But even those who believe in the responsibility to protect innocents say more is required if the just war criteria are to be met. Under the just war theory, war is the last resort after diplomatic and other means have failed. Many moralists do not believe all other options have been exhausted in Syria. First, efforts should be undertaken to negotiate access for the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to population in need. Secondly, charges against the Assad regime should be brought in the International Criminal Court and other available venues to insure justice for its victims — at least in the long run. Thirdly, serious attempts should be made to train and arm trusted secular and moderate religious elements in the resistance to Assad.” [Moral Theologians, 09/03/13]

“Urge Congress: Don’t attack Syria. The world community needs to act urgently to bring those responsible for using chemical weapons-and anyone who commits war crime-to a process of restorative justice. But U.S. military action will hurt more than help, increasing hostility, violence, and the risk of more chemical weapons attacks.” [Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns]

“We Must Use a Moral Compass to Guide Our Moral Outrage. We must first ask if military strikes are a last resort. Have we exhausted peaceful, multilateral solutions to the conflict? Will military intervention have a reasonable chance of success, and how would we define that success? And does military intervention comply with international and U.S. law? We also need to consider the unintended consequences of U.S. military action in Syria both at home and abroad. Old military solutions have clearly failed. It’s time to find a better and more successful way.” [Sojourners, 08/29/13]

“We urge you to refrain from the provision of military assistance to forces involved in the conflict in Syria. Military involvement will only further escalate an already brutal war and will, in fact, undermine the prospect of negotiations to ensure a just and sustainable future for all Syrians. Rather, the U.S. should call for all parties to cease all military activities in Syria and work urgently to de-escalate the crisis, together with other actors in the region and beyond.” [Letter to President Obama, co-signed by American Baptist Churches USA, American Friends Service Committee, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Evangelicals for Social Action, Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice, Franciscan Friars English Speaking Conference, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Jesuit Conference, USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Mennonite Church USA, Pax Christi International, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, United Church of Christ, Ecumenical Officer, The United Methodist Church, USP Missionary Oblates, 07/31/13]

“We feel deeply the pain of all who are caught in the midst of war. We are grateful for the humanitarian assistance provided thus far by the U.S. government and encourage an ongoing and robust response. Furthermore, these monies must be in addition to, and not instead of, funding for the ongoing needs of refugees and internally displaced people in other countries. We urge you to refrain from the provision of military assistance to forces involved in the conflict in Syria. Military involvement will only further escalate an already brutal war and will, in fact, undermine the prospect of negotiations to ensure a just and sustainable future for all Syrians.” [United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ, 08/01/13]

“We condemn the use of chemical weapons. We call upon the President and the members of Congress to follow the example of other strong leaders in the past by exercising the courage and wisdom to refrain from military action that is likely to escalate the conflict further, and to bring our country directly into another war in the Middle East. Now is not the time to feed the violence and instability that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Syrians, driven 3.4 million Syrians from their country, and displaced an additional 6.8 million Syrians from their homes. Most people affected by the conflict are noncombatants. Expanding the conflict will increase the suffering of the innocent.” [Presbyterian Church USA, 08/30/13]


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Showing 3 comments
  • Jay Levy

    Coming from a country that chemically poisoned much of Vietnam, and parts of Laos and Cambodia with Agent Orange, which used chemical weaponry (white phosphorus) in Fallujah, and which gave Saddam intel so he could more easily gas Iranian troops in the 1980s, one should look very carefully before trusting the word and leadership of the U.S. when it comes to condemning the possible use of such weapons by others

  • peteybee

    This is Iraq 2.0

    We should absolutely NOT go to war with Syria.

    PS- Anyone who says cruise missle strikes are not war should ask if Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor was not war.

    President Obama is selling us the EXACT SAME policy of President Bush, namely that we be the Judge, Jury, and Executioner in the case for assad. We are good at executioner, but not good at judge and jury. just look at Iraq. And anyway, at this stage we need a policeman to separate the two sides in the civil war. THEN someone can be the judge and jury. Not before.

    If you look at Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc, we’re not good at being policeman either. Obama, just like Bush, is trying to sell us promises that the US government is not equipped to deliver.

    We should know better.

  • shura dumanic

    Dear friends, thank you very much   shura dumanic, croatie  

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