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NCC General Secretary Calls for Fasting, Prayers for Peace Jan. 27

Jan 24, 2003 11:51 AM EST

NEW YORK CITY - Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, today (Jan. 23) called on people of faith to fast and pray for peace on Monday - "the first of three days of events that will help determine history," he said.

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council is to receive a progress report on weapons inspections in Iraq. On Tuesday, President Bush delivers the annual State of the Union address. On Wednesday, Win Without War and other national coalitions are calling for a day of local actions against military intervention in Iraq.

The full text of Dr. Edgar's call follows:

"I am calling on all people of faith to observe Monday, January 27, 2003, as a national day of prayer and fasting for a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis. This day is the first of three days of events that will help determine history."

"The United Nations Security Council is scheduled on January 27 to receive a progress report from chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. On Tuesday, January 28, President George W. Bush will stand before the assembled leaders of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C., and deliver the annual State of the Union address. The following day, Wednesday, January 29, Win Without War and other national coalitions are calling for a unified day of local actions to protest military intervention in Iraq."

"As this nation edges ever closer to armed conflict, let us fast, pray for peace, and search for alternatives to war. I urge people of faith to pray for President Bush, for all our nation's leaders, and for our military personnel, their families and friends. Let us pray for the suffering people of Iraq and all others in the region and around the world who may be affected by war. And, believing that no one stands outside of prayer, let us pray also for Iraq's leaders, including its president, Saddam Hussein."

"Together, on January 27, let our hearts, our minds and our prayers be as one, witnessing to the ways of peace; witnessing to the fact that war is not the answer. Together, on January 27, let all people of faith join in a national day of prayer and fasting as we seek peace in our day."

By The Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Co