Pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton urges members of the church to be peace-builders. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton urges members of the church to be peace-builders. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

ELCA presiding bishop issues pastoral message on conflict between United States and Iran 

(LWI) – “We have a window of opportunity to stop the current conflict [between the United States and Iran] before it worsens,” writes the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton in a pastoral message on 9 January. She calls upon members of the church to be peace-builders and for them to appeal to elected officials “to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy with Iran — for our sake, for the sake of the people of Iran and for the sake of the world God so loves.” 

Pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy with Iran — for our sake, for the sake of the people of Iran and for the sake of the world God so loves.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton

The conflict between the two countries escalated earlier this month, when Irani General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad international airport. After that Irani officials declared that the country no longer saw itself as bound by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Earlier this week Iran retaliated with a missile attack on two military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops. 

“The current crisis between the United States and Iran is worrisome for many of us in our church, in our nation and in the world,” writes Presiding Bishop Eaton, adding that the U.S. and Iran need to find ways to resolve differences and tension through peaceful means. 

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge expressed gratitude for the letter. “I believe the ELCA is echoing the voice of the communion of Lutheran churches here: we are called to be peace builders. I am grateful for the clear message and call to action coming from our member church.” 

Read the pastoral message