Christ’s resurrection is a source of hope in a war-torn world
By Lisa Zengarini
As Christians, Muslims and Jews celebrate Easter, Ramadan and Passover (Pesach), respectively, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad of the Chaldeans has reiterated that “every believer in God” must reject the “deathly logic of war” and live fraternal love and friendship instead, fulfilling Christ’s teaching “You are all brothers” (Mt 23:8) reflected in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “Fratelli tutti”.
The head of the Chaldean Church made these remarks in his Easter Message, which is focused on the ongoing war raging in Ukraine and on the resurging violence in the Middle East.
Reaffirming the Christian values of fraternity
The message remarked that “the Easter celebration reminds us this year, more than any other time, of God’s love for humankind, His closeness and His great mercy to all, through the Resurrection of Christ, which affirms a brighter future and the salvation of humanity, as long as it proceeds according to His teaching”.
However, Cardinal Sako lamented that “Christian spiritual values have disappeared in most of our societies”.
He therefore stressed that the “Church must work hard to restore these values”, reflecting the light of the Gospel in the life of societies, “so that our world may enjoy peace, security, justice in a spirit of love”.
Solving issues through diplomacy rather than war
Referring specifically to the war waged by Russia against Ukraine, Cardinal Sako reiterated that the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, religious authorities and society, as well as world leaders, should make a serious effort to end conflict “by resolving issues through diplomatic means rather than fighting”.
Reverend Sauca's Easter Message
The ongoing wars in Ukraine and in other parts the globe, are also the focus of the Easter message of the acting General Secretary the World Council of Churches (WCC), Reverend Ioan Sauca.
“As every new day is dawning, anguish, desolation, and hopelessness seem to prevail everywhere”, the message laments, also referring to the economic and ecological injustices which have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The God of life prevails over death
However, amid feelings of despair in our world, Christ’s resurrection is always a source of hope and new life, Rev. Sauca remarked: “Strengthened by our faith and hope, we should not be afraid, we should not despair when we see what happens in our world today, but confront it with courage,” the message reads.
Struggling for peace
Bringing the message to a close, Rev. Sauca reminded that “the Risen Lord bestows upon us the gift of peace and asks that we make it a reality in our lives”. “It is the greatest challenge to all of us to live this peace, to struggle for this peace, to make all possible efforts that the peace of the Lord, passing all understanding (Phil. 4: 7), succeeds”, he concluded.