Last month, we organised the 3rd National Coordinator’s Meeting of the WSCF AP in Thailand. The Coordinators of 13 national Student Christian Movements (SCM) were present together with officers and staffs.
We discussed several critical issues both on the regional and global level, and we reached a common understanding that “the US-led war situation is the most urgent agenda for the SCMs to voice out”.
We have decided therefore, to encourage our members to actively involve in promoting-peace and campaigning against war. This campaign includes the following action plans:
- Declaring our position – “No War! Give Chance to Peace!”
- Putting up anti-war poster campaigns in the campuses, churches and streets
- Signature campaign against war in the campus and on the streets
- Fund-raising for war victims through skipping meals
- Organising anti-war seminars and street demonstrations
Peace in the world is at a critical moment! We should not be silent! We should voice out with the prophetic vision as SCMs have always been doing.
We sincerely ask you to support and join our Anti-War campaign with prayers and action.
“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth!” Since the September 11 attacks, the United States have been accelerating its efforts to rally the world behind its so-called borderless war against terrorism. From the arbitrary branding of traditional enemy countries as “The Axis of Evil”, to the indiscriminate attacks on Afghanistan, and the present determination to wage war against Iraq, the United States government has no qualms about sacrificing thousands of innocent lives in the name of the “War on Terror”. While we do not believe that any nation has the right to possess weapons of mass destruction, we are against the use of war to disarm Iraq by the United States-led coalition. We base this appeal on our concern for the people of Iraq, on our common humanity with those who will suffer and on our concern for the Asia-Pacific Region who are likely to be targeted in retaliation, as the recent bombs in Bali and the Philippines have shown and the destination of many refugees that will result from this new war.
The United States government has convinced the American people that they are threatened by a global network of terrorist set for more deadly attacks. They seek to convince their allies of this also, and falsely state that they seek to win the war against terrorism for the sake of world peace. Undoubtedly the American people were victims on September 11; however, instead of seeking insight into how this terrible event occurred, or seeking a peaceful solution, the United States is now lashing out with war and is using this opportunity to settle long standing disputes that are unrelated to the September 11 attacks. The victims of these wars were not responsible for the September 11 attacks, and rather than seeking justice the United States is seeking arbitrary revenge on countries who share the same religion as the attackers. The United States is also using the “War on Terror” as a pretext for development of their foreign and economic interests rather than safeguarding the national security of any country, just as they have done countless times before.
Asia-Pacific allies of the United States are rushing to support this senseless war as well. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for example, has opened the Philippine territory for US military training against terrorists, and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard has offered Australian troops to be deployed in Iraq. And despite public opinion being opposed to this Macapagal-Arroyo has even pledged the Philippine territory as a launching pad, if the United States strikes Iraq. Other Asia-Pacific leaders have just as enthusiastically rushed in to offer their support.
The US House of Representatives is in the mood for war, increasing its military budget to an astronomical amount of US$389 billion. These are not the actions of a country claiming they are seeking peace and they will eventually cause the targets of this aggression to fight back with more determination. This will then lead to a cycle of vindictiveness that cannot lead to peace.
In the midst of this chaotic time, we, the Student Christian Movements around the world reiterate our prophetic voice and recall the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God”. We must respond to the events that are unfolding before our eyes by voicing our mission/vision and carrying it out. Our inspiration is Jesus Christ who came into this world to bring genuine peace, even in the most challenging times.
We as Christian students strongly believe that war will not solve the problems currently faced by the world. Nor will war dissolve any feelings of hatred that have already been deeply sown. Neither will war bring justice for those already killed. War will only bring massive destruction, torn lives and families and widen the gulf between nations. As Christian students we demand peace. We want peace that will bring justice, mutual respect for peaceful co-existence and understanding to all creation of God.
We sincerely appeal to all nations to say No War! Give Chance to Peace!
November 18, 2002
SCM Aotearoa/New Zealand
SCM Hong Kong
World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific Region
Stephen Hsu, Chair
Edwina Hunter, Vice-Chair
Glenda Roca, ExCo
Vinay Kumar, ExCo
Kim Sung Ran, Member at Large
Shin Seung Min, Regional Secretary
Wong Yock Leng, Regional Women’s Coordinator