Christian Leaders Lobby to Avert War in Iraq

Feb 15, 2003 01:17 PM EST

Christian leaders from the US will be in London next week (17-18 February) to convey a message of widespread opposition to war with Iraq. They believe there are other ways of solving the issue of Iraq's non-compliance with United Nation's resolutions over Weapons of Mass Destruction. They will lobby British Prime Minister Tony Blair, meet British Church leaders, and attend a Service for peace and justice.

The idea for sending American delegations to Europe came from the US National Council of Churches (NCCCUSA) in New York, which is organizing visits to Berlin, Paris and Moscow. The Revd Jim Wallis, Editor and Executive Director of Sojourners, who is one of the speakers at the service and organizer of the delegation to London, said, 'It is a last minute plea, in the name of peace, to seek a resolution for the current crisis with Iraq by means other than war.'

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland will facilitate the visit. On Monday the delegates will meet British Church leaders and at 5:15pm there will be a Service for peace and justice at St John's Church, Waterloo Road, London. The Rt Revd Peter Price, Anglican Bishop of Bath and Wells, will lead the service, to which everyone is welcome.

On Tuesday the delegates will meet Prime Minister Tony Blair and Clare Short, Secretary for State for International Development.

The delegation comprises:

The Revd Jim Wallis, Editor and Executive Director, Sojourners

Bishop John Chane, Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC

Bishop Melvin Talbert, Ecumenical Officer, Council of United Methodist Bishops

The Revd Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church USA

The Revd Dan Weiss, Immediate past General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA

The Rt Revd Clive Handford, Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, will be joining the visit from the Middle East

Invitations have also been extended to the Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal (Jerusalem) and the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane (Cape Town).

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By Albert H. Lee
[email protected]