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Once again we are awakened to news of a devastating attack against innocent lives, this time in the city of Nice, France.  We are deeply saddened by this news and stand in solidarity with the people of France at this time.  

Our prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, for those injured in the attacks, and those affected by the violence. We pray also for leaders who must make difficult decisions in response to this and other senseless acts of violence.

And as we are most cognizant of this attack in which two Americans have died, we are also mindful today of other cities reeling from similar acts of violence in Turkey, Yemen, Bangladesh, Belgium, Lebanon, Egypt, and elsewhere.

Today, we echo the words of the Conference of European Churches:

“Through peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts, we in the churches must persevere in cultivating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance together with all people of faith and goodwill. CEC encourages all to continue and strengthen efforts to build societies where all people feel safe and welcome. Our prayers are with those who have died, those who remain injured and in critical condition, survivors, all those touched by this tragedy, and those who selflessly and courageously put their own lives at risk for the sake of others.”

In a time when the world is all too ready to resort to violence, the National Council of Churches calls for leaders — and especially churches — to do the hard work of peacemaking and peacebuilding for the sake of the Gospel and the human family.