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NCC Board Asks Bush to "Move, Even Now, Away from War"

October 8, 2002, NEW YORK CITY - The National Council of Churches Executive Board, meeting here October 7-8, unanimously approved a letter to President George Bush urging him to "reverse the momentum toward war." The Board is made up of leaders from the NCC’s 36 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican member denominations, which comprise 50 million adherents.

Accompanying the letter were many of the denominational and ecumenical statements against war that have been issued in recent weeks -- correspondence that has been indexed at The letter follows:

Dear Mr. President:

Meeting today in New York City as the Executive Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., we gather from our thirty-six member communions representing a wide diversity of Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches.

We recognize that the United States and the world community face a moment of danger and decision. Also, we recognize the unique burden you bear and assure you that we hold you in prayer as you provide leadership to our nation.

We are prompted to write to you today to commend to your attention the depth and breadth of the correspondence you have received from the Christian community (some examples of which are enclosed) in opposition to a unilateral pre-emptive military strike against Iraq. On many occasions you have cited your reliance on principles of faith. It is just such principles that have motivated the letters from the many Christian leaders and their constituents who oppose such a strike. Millions of American Christians are members of the churches whose leaders have written to you in this moment of grave decision-making.

Consonant with the Christian faith, we now urge you to reverse the momentum toward war. We further urge you to act with courage and forbearance in setting an example in seeking an alternative to war and addressing the very real dangers confronting the world community.

Mr. President, we respectfully implore you to heed the strong beliefs of the broader faith community, which calls you to move, even now, away from war and toward peace with compassion.

In Faith,

Elenie K. Huszagh, President

The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary

National Council of Churches

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