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Kinnamon sends messages of concern
to church councils in Pakistan, Kenya

New York, January 8, 2008 – The new general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA has sent messages to church councils in Pakistan and Kenya to assure them American churches are praying for them, and to identify ways the NCC can support the churches in these violence-torn nations.

 

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon sent messages to Mr. Victor Azariah, executive secretary of the National Council of Churches of Pakistan (NCCP), and to the Rev. Dr. H. Mvume Dandala, general secretary of the All Africa Council of Churches, which is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

"The National Council of Churches USA wishes to support the churches" in each country "in ways that will benefit the churches and advance the cause of justice and peace," Kinnamon said in letters to the church leaders. "In order that our response be as effective as possible, we will welcome any comments and suggestions you can share."

 

In his letter to Mr. Azariah, Kinnamon wrote, "Our prayers have been particularly earnest since the brutal assassination in Rawalpindi of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and subsequent violence in various parts of the country."

 

The violence in Kenya followed a bitterly contested election, and Kinnamon wrote to Dr. Dandala that "it has been agonizing to watch ethnic violence erupt, claiming hundreds of lives and forcing thousands from their homes."

 

"The U.S. National Council of Churches condemns violence as a repudiation of God's love and grace," Kinnamon wrote, "and we know this view is held by the vast majority of Christians" and persons of other faiths in Pakistan and Kenya.

 

The full text of Kinnamon's letters follows:

 

January 8, 2008

Mr. Victor Azariah
Executive Secretary, National Council of Churches of Pakistan
32-B Shahrah-e-Fatima Jinnah,
P.O. Box 357, Lahore 5400
Pakistan 

(Also sent to nccp@lhr.comstats.net.pk)  

Dear Brother Azariah: 

Rejoicing in the common bonds that unite us in Christ Jesus, I want you to know that your sisters and brothers of the National Council of Churches USA are upholding you and the churches of Pakistan in our prayers. 

Our prayers have been particularly earnest since the brutal assassination in Rawalpindi of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and subsequent violence in various parts of the country. We write to you in the spirit of the message you sent to the U.S. churches following the terror attacks of September 2001: “We being a part of the Body of Jesus Christ Our Savior, although residing at distant places … can easily feel the agony of the suffering of each other. Similarly, if one part of the body aches, the rest of the body suffers.” 

As you know, the U.S. National Council of Churches condemns violence as a repudiation of God’s love and grace, and we know this view is held by the vast majority of Christians and Muslims in Pakistan. We are praying for you and all those who have the courage to proclaim God’s command to live in justice, peace and love with one another.  

The National Council of Churches USA wishes to support the churches of Pakistan in ways that will benefit the churches and advance the cause of justice and peace. In order that our response be as effective as possible, we will welcome any comments and suggestions you can share from the NCCP. 

In the meantime, blessings and best wishes to you. 

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary


January 8, 2008 

The Rev. Dr. H. Mvume Dandala
General Secretary
All Africa Council of Churches
P.O. Box 14205 –
00800 Westalnds
Nairobi
, Kenya
 

(Also sent to admin@oaic.org)  

Dear Brother Dandala: 

Rejoicing in the common bonds that unite us in Christ Jesus, I want you to know that your sisters and brothers of the National Council of Churches USA are upholding you and the churches of Africa – particularly the churches of Kenya – in our prayers. 

It has been agonizing to watch ethnic violence erupt in Kenya, claiming hundreds of lives and forcing thousands from their homes.  

The churches of the U.S. will never forget your pastoral spirit when you visited us weeks after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The message you gave us then is the same message we wish to give to the people of Kenya: “We have cried and prayed with you. Love unites us. You are our sisters and brothers. Together we are the body of Christ. Let us hold hands and seek to overcome all forms of violence, direct and structural, in order to build a culture of peace.” 

As you know, the U.S. National Council of Churches condemns violence as a repudiation of God’s love and grace, and we know this view is held by the vast majority of Christians and persons of faith in Kenya and throughout Africa. We are praying for you and all those who have the courage to proclaim God’s command to live in justice, peace and love with one another.  

The National Council of Churches USA wishes to support the churches of Kenya in ways that will benefit the churches and advance the cause of justice and peace. In order that our response be as effective as possible, we will welcome any comments and suggestions you can share from the All Africa Council of Churches. 

In the meantime, blessings and best wishes to you. 

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary

NCC News contacts:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org


 

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