Written by Gregg Brekke
The Global Ministries Office for the Middle East and Europe has released a United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) resource highlighting the perspective of partners and church voices primarily affected by the war in Iraq.
"From War to Peace: Iraq and the Church's Voice" contains over 20 reflections by Global Ministries partners, refugee advocates, military chaplains and peacemakers.
"The purpose of the resource is to draw attention to aspects of the war that are not often treated in other places," says Peter Makari, Global Ministries' Executive for the Middle East and Europe, in his introduction. "[It] gives church partners in the Middle East a chance to offer reflections from their perspectives…"
Of particular concern to this resource is the human cost associated with the war in Iraq. The mass displacement of Iraqis, in conjunction with the political and economic consequences for Iraq, are coupled with the ever-growing need to engage in peacemaking activities with Muslim and Middle Eastern nations, and care for our military personnel and families.
"Our churches have a particular competence to speak on the situation due to ongoing relationships with churches and other partners in the Middle East, special ministries of healing and relief for the people of Iraq who have been negatively impacted by the war," says Makari.
That competency in healing and relief, Makari says, is extended to "members of the UCC and Disciples … deployed to serve in the armed forces in the Middle East, both as soldiers and as military chaplains."
Global Ministries is a joint venture of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ responsible for nurturing relationships with international partners on behalf of Disciples and the UCC.
In 2008, Global Ministries had a total of 139 missionaries serving in 42 countries, which included 60 fully supported missionaries, nine global mission interns (young adults ages 18-30), nine long-term volunteers (one year or more) and 61 overseas associates.
The resources is available at <globalministries.org/mee/from-war-to-peace/>