Office of the Chancery
Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, ROCOR
Statement on Recent Terrorist Attacks
7/20 November, 2015
Venerable Lazarus of Mt. Galesion
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)
In recent weeks there have been a spate of terrorist acts throughout the world: in the Sinai, in Beirut, in Paris, and elsewhere. Such barbarity causes us to pause, to think, and to assess the state of the world in which we live. Such a reaction is natural, and such reflection can be spiritually helpful.
Before we consider ourselves, however, we must first state unequivocally that it is the duty of a Christian to pray for those who have died – especially those who have died in such tragic consequences.
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
Bishop Peter blesses the following text to be used by the faithful of the diocese in their private prayers:
Give rest O Lord to the souls of the victims of terrorism, grant comfort to the grieving families, touch the hearts of the evildoers and turn them to good.
Lord have mercy.
War is a condition of the fallen state of mankind. In such circumstances the Church may have no choice but to support the lesser of two evils in order to protect the innocent. Terrorists call their murderous acts war – but it is nothing of the sort. Their evil actions do nothing but destabilize society and make it that much more difficult for the faithful to work out their salvation.
All this being said, let us not seek personal revenge. Rather, let us pray for our civil authorities and put our trust in the Lord. If revenge is necessary, the Lord will take care for that:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Let us turn to God, strive to trust God more, strive to love God more, and to place our lives into His hands. The Lord cares for our salvation even more than we do and loves us more than we love ourselves, and He gives us what is best to lead us to salvation. In times of crisis as in times in peace let us hope in the Lord. If we do so we will never be disappointed, but will always live in peace, even amongst brutality such as we have recently seen throughout the world. We call upon our flock to provide an example of a Christian life as taught to us by our Lord.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)