July 30, 2014
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and expressed her deep concern for the people of Mosul. In her letter, Bishop Johnson urged the Government of Canada to call for an end to violence, intimidation and expulsion, and provide humanitarian aid to those forced to flee as refugees.
A pdf of the letter to the Prime Minister can be viewed here: http://www.elcic.ca/Documents/ELCIClettertoPrimeMinisteonMOSULexpulsion20140730.pdf
The text of the letter follows.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
July 30, 2014
Re: Expulsion of Christians in Mosul
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
I am writing to express my deep concern for the people of Mosul, who are living with intimidation and violence. In particular, I hear of Christians being targeted with threats and expelled from their homes and communities.
I am also concerned about reports that the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is destroying holy sites. This represents an atrocious and long-term violation of religious freedom.
Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad, and Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, have called on Christians around the world to express their solidarity with those who are suffering. A report by Amnesty International indicates that violations of international humanitarian law are being carried out by all sides, including ISIS and Iraqi Government forces.
The world seems to be in danger of ignoring this tragic situation.
I urge the Government of Canada to take every opportunity to express its concern for the people of Mosul, and to call for an end to violence, intimidation and expulsion. And I encourage the Government of Canada to provide humanitarian aid to those forced to flee as refugees.
My prayers are with all who suffer the effects of war, violence and expulsion. And my prayers are with you and the Government of Canada as you seek to promote peace, human rights and religious freedom around the world.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
c.c. The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, The Leader of the Official Opposition
Justin Trudeau, MP, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Daniel Paillé, MP, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
Elizabeth May, MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 145,376 baptized members in 594 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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