Religious Comment

Attempts to contact various leaders of the Christian churches in the UK have not proved successful. We shall keep trying!

By John Stephen

"Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth" (or the Kingdom of God.)
So wrote the apostle Mark almost 2000 years ago. It is part of his record of the sermon on the mount of olives by Jesus Christ. It is better known to Christians as the "Beatitudes" Christ's appeal is for mankind to make good use of God's gift of freewill and to "Love thy neighbour". Christ also appealed for this love to be extended to other sects and the Gentiles (That is all races who are not Jewish). In his parable about the Jew crossing the road to help someone in distress who was a Gentile, Jesus demonstrated his wish that the gospel of Christianity should be spread throughout the world - not just within the Jewish faith as was widely believed at that time.

Christ?s message is as important today as when it was first recorded 2000 years ago and is just as relevant. Modern day problems are different from those faced by the Jewish people in those days when they were governed by harsh Roman military rule. During the last 90 years many Jews have returned to their homeland from all over the world where they were scattered following wars in AD69. The state of Israel was established in 1948 and the desert to which they had returned to had become a flourishing nation. Ever since that time there have been problems with the states surrounding Israel. They resented the fact that land which they had occupied since the dispersal of the Jews around the world was now being re-occupied by the Jewish people. Needless to say this is one of the biggest trouble spots in the middle east. It is the Christian view that all these states should quickly learn to live together in peace. However this is easily said but far less easily accomplished.

There is a real need for a unifying peace campaign. This can best be achieved by a strong United Nations negotiating a long term agreement between Israel & their neighbouring states such as Lebanon. Israel's latest quarrel has never been with the state of Lebanon itself but with the Hesbolah group of terrorists who had, prior to the 37 day war been operating from within the southern Lebanese borders. This war which saw hundreds of civilians on both sides killed & horribly mutilated was barbaric. The kidnapping by Hesbolah of two Israeli border guards soldiers which clearly started this war was a deliberate act which was guaranteed to cause problems. However the Israeli's Reaction - a mass bombing of virtually the whole of Southern Lebanon in an attempt to wipe out these terrorists cannot be excused. These countries MUST learn to live together in peace. The same applies to Israel's relations with Palestine. Only a strong United Nations can help to avoid further bloodshed in this area.

Whatever your personal religion or political viewpoint it is time to unite in the great cause of Peace. By joining the WPC every individual can play their part to help stop the anguish & distress that wars cause.


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