Written by Daniel Hazard
The following is an excerpt from an urgent pastoral letter from national leaders of the UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on March 7 regarding the ongoing crisis in Darfur/Sudan. The full text includes specific ways that congregations can get involved and can be found at globalministries.org.
"As leaders of the UCC and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), We join together to express our concern for the people of Sudan. As Christians, we realize that we must share in the responsibility to protect human life.
"Since 2003, over 450,000 people have died and we mourn the unnecessary loss of so many lives. We despair for the lives of over 2.5 million displaced Darfuris who are currently surviving in refugee camps.
"The current actions of the Sudanese government have created the abhorrent conditions under which the displaced must live because access to humanitarian aid has been severely hampered. We find unconscionable, the raiding, pillaging and burning of villages and the rape, torture and other violent actions committed by the militia group, the Janjaweed.
"This oppression and violence has moved the United Nations to call the situation in Darfur "the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today."
"We urge members of our two churches and all those who are compelled to stand in solidarity with the people of the Sudan/Darfur to continue to pray, study and discern. We encourage action in all forms.
"We firmly believe that 1 John 3:18 is calling us to love not only in word or speech, but in truth and action and that God's spirit is calling for peace and justice on behalf of the people of Sudan/Darfur."