Ecumenical News International

Schwaetzer: "bands of murderers" in Iraq should be stopped by using force if necessary

August 18, 2014

Baden-Baden (epd). In the view of the President of the Synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Irmgard Schwaetzer, consideration should be given to the humanitarian aid in Iraq being accompanied by military intervention.   "The use of force is surely necessary in this case and is permitted in order to bring an end to murder", Schwaetzer told the radio station SWR2 on Monday.  The former FDP government minister left open the question of the extent to which Germany should be involved in this.

Schwaetzer said that the reports that terrorists in Northern Iraq were slaughtering people could not leave anyone cold.  Christians also faced the challenge to consider "what in the circumstances might be allowed in order to stop these bands of murderers". Currently it appears that "only actual counter-violence could bring this to an end at the present moment in time".

However, according to the criteria specified by the EKD in its peace memorandum in 2007, armed force is not permitted to be the sole possibility.  The aim of any such intervention must be to create a secure environment so that refugees can return if they so wish, stressed Schwaetzer, who since last year has presided over the highest legislative body of the Evangelical Church. 

Schwaetzer challenged the Federal Government to change its policy on arms exports and to set new criteria.  For example, it is a seriously questionable matter that Saudi Arabia should receive armaments from Germany.  Countries such as those that finance the terrorists could "not truly be friends of the Federal Republic of Germany" she said.



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