- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Religious leaders yesterday responded to President Bush's global "campaign against terrorism" that began with missile strikes on Afghanistan.
Pope John Paul II told nearly 10,000 pilgrims in Rome that, amid claims of a Muslim holy war, it is a dark day when religion is used to justify violence.
"I call on you to entrust in God the anguish and worry that this delicate moment in international relations has aroused in all of us," the pope said to the outdoor gathering.
During Sunday's strikes, Osama bin Laden issued a videotaped statement to Arab television that praised God's revenge on infidels and urged an Islamic holy war against them worldwide.
The Vatican has said it understands Washington's use of force to protect its citizens after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
In Fresno, Calif., preparing to begin a four-day crusade Thursday, the Rev. Billy Graham told the Fresno Bee that the Christian response was to pray for "our enemies" in hopes that the Taliban leaders, who harbor bin Laden in Afghanistan, "may change their ways."
Surveys by major news and polling organizations found that no fewer than 90 percent of Americans approved of the missile strikes on military hubs of the Taliban.
Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick called the military action an "expected and necessary response," and offered prayers for servicemen and women that justice may be done and innocent life spared.
He said he hoped the military action, and perhaps the wider war, would be "always guided by the principles of morality and human dignity that have constantly marked the noblest aspirations of the American character."
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, altered the focus of his address to the church's biannual conference Sunday after word of the strikes.
"This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim," Mr. Hinckley said. "Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile."
Mr. Hinckley asked church members to promote a friendly atmosphere where ethnic tensions might arise in the United States, and urged them to be self-sufficient and avoid debt in a time of economic uncertainty.
Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said that while the faithful believe their role is "to prevent wars," in this case "there may be no other way to offer protection to innocent people."
He said congregations should become "a calming influence" in America, and that diplomatic efforts must stay apace of military ones "for finding peaceful solutions."
The American Muslim Council in Washington stated support for the joint military-humanitarian actions and said it "appreciates" Mr. Bush's "reaffirming that this is a war against terrorism, and not against the Afghan people, Muslims or Islam."
However, the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Geneva, called on the United States and Britain to "promptly" end their military attacks.
"We do not believe that war can ever be regarded as an effective response," said WCC acting General Secretary Georges Lemopoulos.
"Our experience of ministry to the victims of war convinces us that acts of war can never spare civilian populations, despite all the precautions of military planners," he said.

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