Ecumenical News International

EKD peace spokesperson: military strikes against IS do not create peace

October 30, 2014

Bonn (epd). In view of the violence in Iraq and Syria, Renke Brahms, spokesperson for peace issues for the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), warns against losing sight of civilian means of resolving conflicts. He is convinced that military strikes or arms deliveries to combat the terror militia "Islamic State" (IS) cannot be the only solution. Brahms was speaking on Thursday in Bonn before the launch of the Ecumenical Peace Decade, which runs from 9 to 19 November. There is no UN mandate, strategy or clear objective, he added.
Having so far rejected the delivery of weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq, Brahms said that airstrikes or arms supplies to conflict parties had only exacerbated the potential for conflict, instead of leading to solutions. "Military violence does not create peace or solve problems but only creates new conflicts," he emphasized.

Furthermore, Brahms admitted that it was not easy to work for a peaceful resolution of conflict in the Middle East. However, it was disturbing that "those who continue to seek peaceful solutions, despite the unspeakable violence, are laughed at or even called names". In his insight, standing up for nonviolence is not naïve but a "clear expression of the peace message of Jesus Christ". Brahms is also the president of the Bremen Evangelical Church.

The Ecumenical Peace Decade has taken place since 1980 from the third last Sunday of the church year until the German day of repentance and prayer, this year on 19 November. It focuses on the topics of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. The theme of this year's Peace Decade is "Freed to resist".

30 October 2014



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