The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has offered condolences and assured the people of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Connecticut in the United States of America, that the thoughts and prayers of people around the globe are focused on them and their communities.
“May you be aware of God’s presence among you, however circumstances may numb your senses and bring even love into doubt. May you find friends and companions on this difficult journey, and again discover the road that leads to life,” he declared.
On Friday morning on 14 December 2012, 28 people, most young children, were killed by gunfire in and near Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“In these difficult days we wish to say that we stand with you in spirit, and that God is with you always,” wrote the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC General Secretary and a minister in the Church of Norway.
“Last year,” Dr Tveit continued, “I was in my native Norway when a deranged gunman massacred a great many young people and adults in the capital and on a nearby island.”
Referring to the July 2011 bombing and shootings at Oslo and Utoya Island, he observed that Norwegians “were moved by the way people of various beliefs came together. We were all too aware that evil and death are inescapably real. But we slowly came to appreciate the reality of life and love, as well.”
Dr Tveit praised the efforts of local churches, synagogues, mosques and other centres of prayer and service in Connecticut: “We commend all who stand in vigil with those in pain. With mourners everywhere, we cry out, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?’ And we support and pray for community and national leaders who are asking hard questions, hoping to prevent future tragedies.”