Via Crucis in Warsaw Via Crucis in Warsaw  (ANSA)

Christ’s resurrection is a source of hope in a war-torn world

Cardinal Raphael Sako of Baghdad and the acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Ioan Sauca, focus their Easter Messages on the ongoing war in Ukraine, saying Christ’s resurrection reminds us that, ultimately the God of life, prevails over all powers of death.

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”.

“[ What have we done with the teaching of Christ, who called us to love everyone, including our enemies? What have we done with the values of fraternity, peace, stability, respect and the common good? ”

Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako
Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako

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”.

“Enough with wars, casualties, grief, destruction, migration, poverty and diseases! There should be an end to the production of lethal weapons everywhere” and “every honest person should reject this hell”

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.


Rev. Ioan Sauca, acting General Secretary pf WCC
Rev. Ioan Sauca, acting General Secretary pf WCC

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.

“Christ’s Resurrection reminds us that, ultimately, God, the God of life, prevails over all powers of sin and death. It is a source of healing, wholeness, and renewal. It is joy for the sorrowful; light for those living in darkness; liberation for those oppressed. It leads the world to unity and reconciliation.”

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.

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16 April 2022, 16:03