National Council of Churches Statement on Recent ISIS Executions

WASHINGTON: The National Council of Churches joins the world in grief and outrage at ISIS’s executions of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, and Jordanian hostage Moath al-Kasasbeh. The utter bankruptcy of this extremist ideology, which looks to horrific violence to prop up its credibility, cannot be allowed to stand any longer. We join with people of faith and goodwill all across the world in condemning these horrific, inhumane acts, and call upon the nations to join together to isolate this threat.

We recognize that ISIS and its violent, inhuman ideology, is a profound problem for all people.  Muslims are particularly threatened (as most targets of ISIS and Al-Qaeda have been Muslims), as are people of other faith groups, as we have seen these past months. Terrorism is indiscriminate toward its victims, and none are safe from its violence.

The NCC commends the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other voices that have spoken out against the brutality of ISIS and other examples of extremist violence. Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary, stated, "Our experience through decades of interfaith dialogue and working for peace has taught us that we must stand up together against evil that purports to act in the name of faith."

We also look to ourselves as faith leaders to join together in living in such a way as to build bridges of peace and to work for the well-being of those we are connected with.  We hope that by doing so others will be inspired to seek the best for their neighbors also.  And we, the National Council of Churches, are more committed than ever to working with our interfaith partners in dialogue and peacemaking.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact: Steven D. Martin: 202.412.4323 or [email protected]