Mexico reported a record total of 31,000 murders in 2019. A few days into the New Year, we hear reports of continuing violence in many parts of the world. For example, there were more drone strikes in Somalia, continuing attacks in Syria, and the killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.
Pax Christi USA Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch issued a statement following the killing of Qassem Suleimani: ‘Such actions go against everything we stand for as people of faith and are incompatible with the message of Jesus.’
During his Angelus address on January 5th, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace . He reminded us of his World Peace Day message: Peace as a Journey of Hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion.
Regarding the potential escalation of violence between Iran and the West, more analysis pieces are here from Eli McCarthy, Paul Rogers and Richard Reeve, Rose Marie Berger, Jim Wallis and Cardinal Turkson. There is also a radio interview with Paul Rogers. We recall Walter Wink’s words on the myth of redemptive violence: ‘Its metaphor is not the journey but the fortress. Its symbol is not the cross but the crosshairs of a gun. Its offer is not forgiveness but victory. Its good news is not the unconditional love of enemies but their final elimination.’
Pax Christi’s work for peace will continue in 2020.