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Faith to Toll Bells
Washington – June 9, 2006 – Religious congregations across the nation are joining forces to mourn an anticipated tragic milestone – the death of the 2,500th soldier in Iraq.
To date, 2,489 U.S. soldiers have been killed in the war in Iraq.
Thousands of congregations of all faiths are expected to toll bells in remembrance of the soldiers’ sacrifice to their country and to remind U.S. leaders of the true cost of the war in Iraq to all soldiers, their families, as well as the thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq who have lost their lives. The bell ringing effort is organized by FaithfulAmerica.org and DemocracyRising.US.
Churches, synagogues, mosques and peace organizations are encouraged to participate in the nationwide interfaith initiative, "Ring in Remembrance." Officials at www.faithfulamerica.org report that nearly a thousand communities of faith have already registered to participate.
“Bell ringing has historically been used to call communities together in times of joy, sadness, or crisis, said Vince Isner, director of FaithfulAmerica.org. “We believe this is not only a time of sadness, but an opportunity to ring in a new season of peace.”
In addition to bells, people of faith will light candles, gather in silence, or engage in other sacred gestures to remember soldiers, civilians and innocents who have died in the Iraq war. Houses of worship and others that sign up at www.faithfulamerica.org will receive resources and information about participating in the effort.
FaithfulAmerica.org, a program of the National Council of Churches USA, is an interfaith electronic advocacy community dedicated to advancing justice in public policy. DemocracyRising.US is a national peace project that seeks to end the occupation of Iraq.
“The expected death of the 2,500th U.S. soldier will be a profound loss for our nation and the world,” said Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA. “As persons of faith, we are called not only to remember their sacrifice, but also to remind our leaders that we are called to be peacemakers.”
The interfaith effort also seeks to draw attention to the ongoing human and financial costs of the Iraq war and strongly urge U.S. and international leaders to consider alternatives to the open-ended occupation of Iraq.
"The ringing of the Bells of Remembrance on this solemn occasion may persuade more of the large majority of Americans opposed to this war-quagmire to act," said Ralph Nader, founder of DemocracyRising and former U.S. presidential candidate. "The people can make the White House and Congress stop the destruction and end the occupation."
For more information on the “Ring in Remembrance” initiative and to sign up as a participating congregation, visit the FaithfulAmerica website at www.faithfulamerica.org or Democracy Rising at www.democracyrising.us.
FaithfulAmerica.org, a program of the National Council of Churches USA, is an interfaith electronic advocacy community dedicated to advancing justice in public policy. Democracy Rising is a national peace project that seeks to end the occupation of Iraq.
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