11/18/2015 4:00:00 PM

CHICAGO (ELCA) – In response to the terrorism around the world and people displaced from their homes and seeking refuge, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), issued a statement Nov. 18 to the 3.7 million member church. The full text of her statement follows:

“We are shocked and dismayed by the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, but also in Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Senseless acts of terror will maim and forever have an impact on innocent victims and their families. Our hearts and prayers go out to all whose lives have been shattered and are grieving the loss of loved ones. We know all too well the frightening memories of terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the uncertainties of possible future attacks.

“Yet, we Christians and all others of good will cannot let fear rule the day. Fear paralyzes, divides people, fosters distrust and clouds judgments.  We also stand shoulder to shoulder with people of faith who are firmly opposed to vengeful reprisals and prejudice. In particular, we are concerned for and committed to standing with our Muslim neighbors who are facing threats and acts of discrimination and hate by those who conflate Islam with terrorism.

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