Council for World Mission Board of Directors is meeting in preparation for our General Assembly whose theme is Healing: Hope in Action. The Bible study during our meeting asked us to consider healing as overcoming violence, an issue that touches many parts and vulnerable communities of our world.  In the midst of our many concerns, CWM Council wants to voice our horror, hurt and denunciation of the culture of violence that exists throughout our communities around the globe. The mass shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the issue of gun control in the United States is one manifestation of this culture of violence in the world.

We see in Jesus a victim of violence, and in Jesus’ name, we turn in tenderness and solidarity to those who were targeted by such violence.  We are called to ways of living that are mutually affirming, that seek to honour the diversity of all creation without resorting to violence and hatred against those who are different from us.  Christ’s life challenges ways of violence. The Christian way is therefore to necessarily denounce and reject violence in any form, as we seek to participate in the dynamic global movement of building life-affirming communities.

We make this statement because we are aware that some churches and preachers around the world view this incident, not as the hate crime it is, but as a sign of God’s justice. We denounce this view and call on the US and all our governments to seriously address the issue of gun control. Without gun control, hatred, including self-hatred, is given a deadly force.

The Council for World Mission seeks to be a life-affirming community. In that vein, we assure all in LGBTQ+ communities of our denunciation of homophobic violence. Our desire is that all should live free from the threat of prejudice, hate and violence.  We pray that the wounded hands of Christ may bear-up the victims of violence, disarm the perpetrators of violence and embolden all of us to resist cultures of violence that harm and threaten all life in our communities.