ELCA NEWS SERVICE
September 21, 2012
Violence in Egypt, Libya, elsewhere condemned by ELCA presiding bishop
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- In letters to Coptic Orthodox, Islamic and Muslim leaders across the United States, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), denounced the hate video "Innocence of Muslims" and shared his commitment to speak against the violence and hate demonstrations that have erupted in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere.
In his Sept. 19 letters, Hanson expressed sadness about what has unfolded in recent days, especially the tragic deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others. He lifted up the importance of standing "shoulder-to-shoulder with people of other faiths" in working for a "world where peace, love and concern for one another may be a reality."
Hanson noted that the ELCA is committed to caring for people in tangible ways, particularly through ELCA Disaster Response and The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of 143 member churches in 79 countries all over the world. The ELCA is the federation's only member church from the United States.
In cooperation with the federation, ELCA members are responding to the material needs of Syrian refugees at the Za’atari camp in northern Jordan. Many of the Syrian refugees there are Muslims.
Hanson wrote individual letters to Dr. Maher Hathout of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Los Angeles; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America, Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances, Washington, D.C.; and His Grace Bishop Serapion of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Pomona, Calif.
Hanson commended each for his leadership and strong public witness, and he expressed hope for a world where children may live without fear and hatred, and where peace and love for one another may be known in daily life.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 4.2 million members in 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
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