ICCJ Press Release

Statement on Current War in Iraq. Heppenheim, London, 3 April 2003. At this very difficult time . . .

Statement on Current War in Iraq

Heppenheim, London, 3 April 2003. At this very difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved in the war in Iraq. Our hearts go out to the ordinary people of Iraq who find themselves in the midst of terrifying violence and we pray for the well-being and safe return of U.S., British and other coalition servicemen and women, and for their families and loved ones, who fear for them day by day and hour by hour.

On behalf of the ICCJ and its Abrahamic Forum we urge that the rights of non-combatants be fully respected. We hope that humanitarian aid will have the highest priority, with aid agencies and the United Nations given all possible facilities to carry out their vital tasks.

We urge all parties to remember the sanctity of human life. No person is expendable and even in times of war it is the obligation of all parties to seek to minimise the loss of life and in no circumstances to use weapons of mass destruction.

We urge all parties to abide by the Geneva conventions and are particularly distressed by recent breaches of those conventions by members of the Iraqi military, which have caused great grief and suffering for the families of coalition service people in their time of bereavement.

It is vital for world peace that all nations abide by international law and the principles of the U.N. Charter. We urge the combatants to ensure that the United Nations will have overall responsibility for rebuilding Iraq and administering aid programmes vital for the Iraqi people. We encourage the Secretary General of the United Nations to continue his quest for a peaceful solution and hope that all parties will co-operate with him, rather than driving the war forward to a conclusion that will be very terrible for all concerned.

We commit the ICCJ and its Abrahamic Forum to redouble its efforts in promoting peace between Christians, Jews and Muslims. We are particularly concerned to ensure that religion does not become an instrument of political violence or propaganda in any of our faith communities and we urge Christians, Jews and Muslims to reach out to each other in mutual comfort, support and the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the current conflict.

Prof. Dr. John Pawlikowski
Sr. Margaret Shepherd
Chair International Committee
Rev. Friedhelm Pieper
General Secretary
Dr. Stefan Schreiner
ICCJ Abrahamic Forum Council