Christian Leaders Assail Massacre

The president of the United Church of Christ and the inter religious affairs director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews spoke out forcefully this week against the massacre of Israeli students at Maalot and castigated fellow Christians and member states of the United Nations for keeping silent or failing to punish terrorists in face of continuing outrages.

The Rev. Dr. Robert V. Moss, who heads the two million member United Church of Christ declared that churches must speak out against terrorism even if doing so endangers church activities in some places because “the church has no relevance if it refrains from condemning evil, especially when the blood of innocents is shed in wanton murder.”

He made that statement in a letter to the Rev. Dr. Phillip Potter, president of the World Council of Churches, in which he urged the Council to “organize the world Christian community to get in touch with all governments” that now harbor terrorists to demand that they arrest or expel them. “I am especially concerned that non-Arab governments, such as that of Greece, are unwilling to deal forthrightly and sternly with the scourge of terrorism.” Rev. Moss said.

Dr. Bernhard E. Olson, of the NCCJ, said that he personally felt “bitter outrage and deep sorrow over the utterly senseless and cruelly calculated massacre of innocent and peaceful citizens, primarily children.” Asserting that he spoke in his “private capacity as a Christian.” Dr. Olson, a United Methodist clergyman, declared: “Members of the United Nations who have consistently refused unequivocally to condemn Arab terrorism and to take effective measures against it, share a grave moral responsibility for the tragedy at Maalot. But so do those Christians throughout the world who, through their silence and inaction, have given implied if not open support for those abominable acts.”

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