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For Christianity war can only be evil. For it is written; 'Thou shalt not kill'. Nevertheless, there have always been occasions when Christians have stood up to defend the defenceless and received the praise of the Church of God. And there have always been occasions when war has been the lesser of two evils. Throughout history, there have been occasions when war has been the lesser of two choices. The late Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) used to relate how St Silvanus the Athonite had prayed constantly throughout the First World War for the victory of the less evil of the two sides. What then can we say about the present looming threat of war between the USA and the UK governments on the one side, and the Iraqi government on the other?

It seems to us that before we can make any statement or have any opinion about this possible war, a number of questions have to be asked.

Why is Iraq liable to the punishment of war?

Turkey, which years ago massacred over a million Armenians, then a generation ago illegally invaded Cyprus, and then massacred and expelled many of its Kurdish population, is not threatened with war.

Israel, which has resisted all UN resolutions against its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and ethnic cleansing of the native Christian people of Palestine, is not threatened with war.

Albanian Muslims, who have in the last three years desecrated and dynamited some 100 churches and monasteries on the sovereign territory of Serbia, and massacred innocent civilians under the noses of NATO troops, are not threatened with war.

Countries like Israel, Pakistan and India, which 'secretly' hold nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, are not threatened with war.

Why were over three thousand innocent people massacred by Muslim fanatics a year ago in New York? What inspired such bitter and blind hatred among these deluded people for the United States?

So why Iraq?

Is a war with Iraq the lesser of two evils?

In other words, have American satellites, of which dozens must hover over Iraq every day, noticed some terrible, apocalyptic secret weapon in Iraq, which, if unleashed, would cause far greater evil than a war with Iraq? If so, then it may be that war with Iraq is the lesser of two evils. However, we are not as ordinary members of the public, privy to any such information.

Whatever is to be in the coming months, we feel fear and trembling. Whatever is to be in the coming months, we have one prayer and one prayer alone, that the will of man may not be done, but that the Will of God may be done.

17/30 September 2002
The Holy Martyrs Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love

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