Letters to the Editor – April 13th issue
War in Iraq and Syria
This is the cover letter, dated April 7, sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper with an eight-page letter which can be read on bccatholic.ca, from the Canadian Council of Churches, of which the CCCB is a member.
Re: Canada's Current Military Mission in Iraq and Syria:
We are troubled by the actions of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, committing atrocities that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. While we applaud the government of Canada for recognizing the gravity of this situation, we have serious questions about how Canada is responding.
Our views are informed by deeply rooted beliefs in the sanctity and dignity of human life, the need to protect vulnerable people from atrocities, and cautions about the ineffectiveness of past international military interventions in the region.
We are therefore writing to urge you and the government of Canada to: strengthen diplomatic efforts and make them better known so we can discuss these efforts with others in the Middle East; increase further humanitarian assistance to the region and provide robust support for refugees, including consulting with the Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association to coordinate the response in Canada; support civil society organizations contributing to peace and social development over the long term; reduce the flow of arms to the region; and focus on the protection of the rule of law and respect for human rights, especially through inclusive government structures in Iraq and Syria.
Please be assured that churches across Canada continue to hold you and your government in our prayers.