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ELCA Advocacy Network Urges Diplomacy Over Military Solutions in Syria

Last Saturday President Obama laid before the nation an important question: whether the U.S. should launch a military strike against Syria due to that government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. The use of chemical weapons in Syria is heinous and inexcusable. These atrocities are an assault on human dignity, and violate international standards and law. However, the people of Syria, along with many others in the Middle East who are living through this time of profound instability, deserve our concern, compassion and accompaniment, not the escalation of an already horrendous war.
Bishop Munib Younan, leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and president of The Lutheran World Federation, has called on the world community to seek political rather than military solutions to the Syrian crisis. “While the use of chemical weapons is wrong, the forms of intervention being predicted thus far can do little to bring a positive outcome … Such military intervention threatens to bring even greater suffering and instability to communities throughout Syria and the region as a whole … The situation in Syria will be solved not with bombs but with diplomatic efforts and true dialogue among Syrians of goodwill … To choose the path of diplomacy brings the Middle East closer to the goal of peace. Such a choice is not weakness, but the sign of peace and security.”
Early this week, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson sent a letter to President Obama asking him to continue diplomatic efforts rather than pursuing military action in Syria .
Write to the president and your members of Congress urging them to strengthen international diplomatic efforts instead of authorizing military action that will only escalate an already brutal war. Ask your members to vote against an authorization to take military action against Syria. Ask the president not to take such action as well. PLEASE be sure to send to both the President and your members of Congress.
Commit to keeping all of these decision-makers in prayer, asking that God will continue to give them wisdom as they discern the best path to avoid atrocities while pursuing peace.

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