21 March 2003
Methodist Church prays for peace and justice in Iraq
The President of the Methodist Conference, the Rev Ian White, and the Vice President, Professor Peter Howdle, have made the following joint statement:
"On behalf of the Methodist Church, we wish to support entirely the faith leaders, Christian, Muslim and Jewish, who met at Lambeth Palace today.
The prayers of the Methodist people are for peace and justice - in Iraq and across the world. We urge that everything possible will be done to minimise the loss of life in the conflict in Iraq.
We are especially mindful of all those who are directly involved in the fighting, on both sides; and of their families and friends. Our hearts go out to the relatives of those who have lost their lives in the early hours of military action. Methodist ministers who are serving as chaplains in all three of the Armed Services are especially close to our hearts as they exercise a particularly demanding ministry.
We shall not cease to pray for the Prime Minister and all members of the Government. We call upon our political leaders to:
- achieve their military aims with the minimum possible loss of life and damage to Iraq's cities and villages;
- work with the United Nations, aid agencies and all interested political groups to support at the earliest possible time a new administration in Iraq which has the consent of the peoples of Iraq and which promises stability and hope in the region; and
- declare a renewed commitment on behalf of Her Majesty's Government to support and strengthen the work of the United Nations Security Council.
The military action in Iraq has consequences here in Britain. The Methodist Church makes clear its continuing commitment to do all in its power to promote good community relations everywhere, and especially where Christian, Muslim and Jewish people live in close proximity to one another."