The following article is part of our ongoing effort to provide a variety of Christian perspectives on the Israel-Lebanon conflict.

In July, the World Council of Churches (WCC) released a statement expressing concern over the most recent acts of violence in the Middle East. It claimed that "the concept of the war on terror" puts "civilians at greatest risks" and argued that Israel's "illegal occupation of Palestinian territories" presents "the vortex of the region's violent storm."

While Israel attempts to secure its sheer survival, the member churches of the WCC express no word of compassion for Israel beyond a general regret for death and destruction "on all sides."

In the form of a pastoral letter, the general secretary of the WCC, Samuel Kobia refuses to name Hezbollah and ultimately defends the terrorists and reproaches the victims for their self-defense. The letter attacks democratic countries, shields militia groups from blame, and challenges "the concept of war on terror." The reader looks in vain for what is expected from a pastoral word of encouragement, consolation, or reconciliation. Without this, the WCC statement, intentionally or not, makes several points that, if followed, would strengthen terrorist groups.

Justifying Terror

The letter starts off with a reference to the Christian concept of "compassion" and "sadness at the shedding of innocent blood in the Middle East," identifying four of the numerous suffering parties in the Middle East, namely "the people of Lebanon," "citizens of Israel," "Palestinians and Iraqis." While all suffering is lamentable, this select list of sufferers is odd not only for naming only those few, but also for not making any effort to distinguish between the sufferings of those four ...

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