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Churches Call for Solidarity and Prayers Amid Tragedy in Spain

“We ask all members of our Church to pray for the families of those who died and to join the rest of our country in any demonstration of unity against these unspeakable acts of terrorism”
( [email protected] ) Mar 13, 2004 03:05 AM EST

In response to “the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since World War II” in which 199 people lost their lives and 1,400 were injured, the leaders of several church denominations and groups expressed their solidarity with the Spanish people, and called upon Christians worldwide to pray and to seek comfort from above, March 11, 2004.

"Such a great tragedy reminds us not only of the fragility of life, but also of God's everlasting love," said the Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church in a letter to the Rev. Alfredo Abad Heras, chief executive of the Spanish Protestant Church. "The loss of loved ones and friends strengthens our faith and unites us in fellowship with Christ. It calls us toward greater efforts in peacemaking and reconciliation."

The Reverend Carlos Lopez Lozano, Bishop of the Anglican Church in Madrid, expressed his condolences in a March 11 statement.

“We would like to convey to the families of the victims our total support and we ask the Lord to be with them in their deep pain and sorrow at the loss of their loved ones,” said Bishop Lozano. “We believe that life is the most precious gift from God, therefore we condemn any and all acts of violence no matter what the objective may be.”

Bishop Lozano also asked for prayers from the worldwide church; the Anglican Communion has 77 million registered members worldwide.

“We ask all members of our Church to pray for the families of those who died and to join the rest of our country in any demonstration of unity against these unspeakable acts of terrorism,” said Lozano.

Members of the Anglican Church also plan to meet at the door of the Cathedral of El Redentor at noon on March 12 for silence in memory of those who died in the violent bombings.

The World Council of Churches also immediately released a statement to the Spanish churches that expressed a “total rejection” of the attacks and "deep solidarity with the victims of the atrocity, their families and all the people of Spain".

Singed by the WCC general secretary Georges Lemopoulos and written in Spanish, the message "Christian vocation to oppose any form of violence" and "commitment to seeking peace", and praises the "solidarity and immediate support to the victims by the Spanish people and churches".

The World Council of Churches is the biggest ecumenical Christian body in the world with more than 337 member churches from over 100 countries.

The full text of the WCC statement in Spanish is available at:

http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/international/madrid-message-s.html