Leaders from JPIT’s four denominations have expressed support for a Global Ceasefire, being called for in light of COVID-19. Read more about this campaign here.
The following Prayer for Peace has been written by the Revd Steve Faber, Moderator of the URC West Midlands Synod. Churches are invited to include it in their prayers for the world.
Holy and loving God,
who sent your son Jesus into the world as the Prince of Peace,
we pray for peace.
As we learn again what it means to be human,
of our unavoidable connection one to another,
let us be those who will move forwards to make a new normal:
a world where we will not invest in weapons of mass destruction,
a world where compassion for those in need prevails over hardness of heart,
a world where we finally learn to love one another.
Let this be a time when all peoples lay aside difference
and find a new way to work together for the common good.
Let warring and hatred end;
let the call for a global ceasefire be heard and honoured.
In working together in a way which brings you glory, O God,
let fear be driven out and a new trust in each other and in you grow.
And as we work together to end poverty and violence,
may the light of Christ shine ever more brightly in your world.
We pray in the name of our risen saviour, Jesus Christ.
Revd Dr Barbara Glasson and Dr Clive Marsh, President and Vice-President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain, have made the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic brings home to us our common humanity. While in the UK we have struggled with being locked down, we are thankful that we have an excellent health service with tremendous staff. Our thoughts also go out to those living in war zones where health systems are unreliable and intensive treatments are often unavailable. Those whose lives have been disrupted by war now have to protect themselves from this new deadly threat. That is why we are supporting the UN Secretary General’s call for a Global Ceasefire. A global ceasefire will enable medics and nurses to access conflict areas and concentrate on the battle against Coronavirus. We urge that all parties to conflict give immediately priority to life and health and respond to the Secretary General’s call for a ceasefire. We ask our own government to work urgently, including within the UN Security Council, to make this call a reality.”
The Revd Lynn Green, the General Secretary of Baptists Together, said:
“In my life I have never known a crisis that has been so universal in its impact. It seems from every corner of the globe we are hearing daily stories of how this virus is indiscriminately devastating lives and communities. And yet even with this global reach, it is the poorest countries and those experiencing conflict that are threatened the most. The health systems in so many areas of conflict are already decimated. Health and humanitarian workers need resources and unimpeded access as they try to reach and help those affected by the virus. This cannot happen while war rages on.”
URC Moderators Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden have added their names to an international call for a ceasefire.
Voicing his concern, Mr Uden said: “Both poverty and war are unacceptable blights on our world. Each makes Covid-19’s march even easier. In the name of Jesus, the one whose mission is abundant life for all, I passionately endorse the call for a global ceasefire.”
Mr Estill added: “I urge everyone, in the face of the threat, pain and suffering that the coronavirus pandemic is causing the whole world, to put aside differences, pray, work and stand together in peaceful cooperation and determination to defeat this common enemy. Working cooperatively will enable us to find new and better ways of living. In peace, we can together make a difference for the better, for God’s sake.”
The Church of Scotland has also backed calls for a Global Ceasefire, with the Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Faith Impact Forum, signing the letter to the UN Secretary General.
Dr Brown said: “The impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on our way of life has been dramatic and it is unlikely that our society will ever be the same again.
“Bad though it is for us, imagine if we were living in a place of war or conflict? How would the necessary public health measures be implemented? How could governments support those whose livelihoods were being affected?”
“How possible would it be for the sick to get the help and care they need? Yet these things are absolutely essential if lives are to be saved.”
Dr Brown said the sad reality is that where war exists, COVID-19 will spread unimpeded, leaving death, misery and pain in its wake.
“With a willingness to lay down arms, warring can be stopped in order to support efforts to overcome a disease which affects everybody,” she added. “In the face of the outbreak, the gain or loss of military goals must be second to the protection of all human life.”