National Council of Churches’ Statements on Violence in Nice and in the US
Statement on Attack in Nice, France
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.
Statement on Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas killings
“My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out on the ground because of the destruction of my people, because infants and babes faint in the streets of the city.” —Lamentations 2:11 NRSV
“Please, Lord, you know our rights, Lord. You know we are innocent people, Lord. We are innocent people.” — Lavish Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile
The National Council of Churches mourns the recent shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA, Philando Castile in suburban Minneapolis, MN, and five police officers in Dallas, TX. These killings point to the racial tensions that plague our society and the disturbing disregard for the sacredness of human life, exacerbated by the prevalence of weapons.
We pray for a full recovery of those wounded in Dallas and for the friends and families of those killed in each of these tragic incidents. Words seem inadequate to express the depth of our sorrow and the extent of our concern for the stability and well-being of our country. Our society is in need of a radical transformation, away from suspicion and anger to trust and reconciliation. We are committed to the pursuit of both racial justice and sensible measures to prevent gun violence, and to working to bring about reconciliation among our people.
We commend the following statements from NCC member communions:
“We are killing ourselves, and until we in the white community feel that the death of a person of color is our death too, it’s not going to change.”
The Bible reminds us that, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is the one who is in you than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4). Our ability to overcome the world by the God-bestowed power within us requires faith and courage.
Other statements will be posted on the NCC website as they become available.