The World Council of Churches and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA have both spoken up today against yesterday’s violent attack on the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters. Meanwhile, the death toll is getting worse: in addition to the woman shot dead by Capitol Police, three more people were reported dead after suffering separate medical emergencies. 13 people got injured and 52 were arrested, many of them for curfew violations. The Interim General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Ioan Sauca, expressed “grave and mounting concern” over the latest developments. “The divisive populist politics of recent years have unleashed forces that threaten the foundations of democracy in the United States and — to the extent that it represents an example to other countries — in the wider world”, said Rev. Sauca in a statement released by the WCC last night. “Accordingly, these developments have implications far beyond domestic American politics and are of serious international concern”. The WCC urged those responsible for the violence to “desist and to return to civil discourse and established democratic processes, calling on all parties to resist short-term political interests and to act in a manner responsible to others and accountable to the wider society. We pray that the churches of America be empowered with wisdom and strength to provide leadership through this crisis, and on the path of peace, reconciliation, and justice”.
Strong condemnation also came from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) that brings together 38 Churches and communities representing 40 million Christians in the US. “Chaos reigns, guns have been drawn, and our democracy is under siege. This is outrageous, unacceptable, shameful and a disgrace. Every effort must be made by law enforcement to restore order immediately”, a statement released yesterday reads. “What is taking place is a profound breakdown in security and is beyond anything we have ever seen before”, said NCC President and General Secretary Jim Winkler. The Council of Churches also pointed the finger at President Trump: “We fervently denounce President Trump for the role he has played in provoking this situation by encouraging and attending a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, continuing to lie about the results of the election and refusing to concede and accept the election’s outcome”. The NCC recalled the election’s outcome, strongly reaffirming the legitimacy of the ballots cast by nearly 82 million Americans. “These votes – the statement goes on to say – were carefully counted in the states and withstood more than 60 legal challenges”. After expressing concern about the fact that “the vestiges of racism and white supremacy are still affecting and infecting our democracy”, the Christian Churches remembered those who “lost their lives”. “We mourn” their death and “pray no one else will be injured”.