Pastoral Message on Alexandria

Adopted by the General Assembly November 10, 2005

We the delegates to the General Assembly of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and Church World Service, meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, November 8-10, 2005, have heard with great concern of the horrific and violent acts against the Coptic Orthodox and Protestant Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, on October 21-22, 2005. In solidarity with one of our member communions, the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, we join our Egyptian sisters and brothers in Christ in fervent prayer for peace, justice and equal rights in their native and beloved country, Egypt.

We also commend President Hosni Mubarak for his condemnation of the violence, his acknowledgement of deepening tensions between Egypt's Muslims and Christians, and his exhortation to Muslim scholars to teach tolerance and shun extremism. In this same spirit, we commend Sheikh Mohammed Sayed El-Tantawi, Rector of Al Azhar University, for his encouragement of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among Muslims and Christians in Egypt in the wake of these recent events.

We join with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in his call for prayer and are comforted with him in the Book of Psalms, which states, "Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord” (Ps 27:14). Especially as we near the Advent season, we pray for Christians and all people in the region where Christ was born and sojourned, was crucified and resurrected.

Pastoral Message on Constantinople

Adopted by the General Assembly November 10, 2005

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA meeting in its General Assembly in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, expresses its sadness and dismay at the recent attacks and demonstrations by extremist elements in Turkey against the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the person of His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

We appreciate the timely response of the police in Istanbul in containing these elements of fanaticism and extremism.

We pray for the continued well being of Patriarch Bartholomew and stand in solidarity with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.