Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Saying Never Again, Again

I feel so powerless to help those in the Dafur region of the Sudan. We know full well the level of atrocity taking place. After the Holocaust under Hitler we said, "Never again." Then with the genocide in Rwanda, "Never again." And now it is happening again and again I wonder why we are powerless to bring about change. Is there no way to stop the broad scale suffering?

In recent news a Norwegian Aid agency has had to pull out of the region. The Norwegian Refugee Council is currently assisting 300,000 people (of roughly 2 million displaced persons), but is at the mercy of the government which has held up their work 210 days total since they started in 2004. The group feels it can do more good elsewhere.

an AP photo of a Janjaweed fighterAnother BBC News report says that the Janjaweed militia killed at least 63 people in recent attacks in Darfur, at least 27 of the victims are thought to be children under the age of 12. It was these same fighters who displaced the 2 million refugees from their homes and have led to what is estimated to be 400,000 deaths so far. The Janjaweed are the local militias in Darfur widely reported to be connected to the Sudanese government.

In 2004, Episcopal Priest John Danforth served as an American envoy to the Sudan to broker peace. In a press conference after his visit he was asked if Americans cared and he responded,
Are the American people concerned about the people of Darfur? Yes, they are. Are the American people aware of the disaster of Darfur? Yes, they are. Are the American people aware of the stories of burning and rape and plunder and displaced persons? Yes, they are. And do the American people, to their credit, stand up for people half way around the world who are so different from what they are, but are human beings? Yes, the American people care about them.
a map showing the regionI want to think my brother priest was right, that we do care about those halfway around the world and yet two years have passed, thousands more have died and I have done nothing, nor have we.

As I have preached before (see Strong Weakness) I usually find power in situations of powerlessness. But in the case of genocide, I see nothing but pathos, loss. Is there any response I am missing other than prayer? We have said "Never again" and now it has been happening again for 3 years and we have done little to stop it.

Two places to find out more are the Wikipedia article on the Dafur Conflict and the "learn" page at

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


  • At 11/14/2006 10:41 AM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Dear Frank,

    I appreciate this post. It is very hard to find something to do in addition to prayer to help the people of Darfur. It is also very easy to get "compassion fatigue," and become discouraged. My parish has sponsored a family of 6 and has brought them out of Darfur to the U.S. They live in a house the parish owns and are slowly getting accustomed to life in the U.S. The process for helping a refugee family like this is long, but more worthwhile than you can imagine. Especially when you consider that unless they were here, they, like the rest of their family and village, would be dead. We helped to save 6 out of a village. In the grand scheme of things, did that matter? I say yes! And it certainly mattered to them! Your church may want to investigate the possibility of sponsoring a family. But, y'all should always pray, as I'm sure you do. A wise man once said, "Prayer is not the least we can do, but the most." God bless you.


  • At 11/15/2006 6:38 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…


    How did your congregation go about this? Who would one contact? I would ask for this information by email, but I think it is worth posting here if you can.


  • At 11/17/2006 10:38 AM, Blogger Ryan said…


    At the congregation I now serve, we partnered with a local Mosque through an organization called "C.A.I.R." - Council on American-Islamic Relations. In my previous congregation in Chicago, we worked through a local agency who specialized in bringing refugees to the city. That congregation brought over and resettled hundreds of Bosnians in the 90's, and two Liberian families while I was there. You can try and find such an agency in your area. You can get more infor by checking out websites like the Lutheran Imigration and Refugee Service. This is an amazing ministry, but one which takes lots of time, patience, and total congregational support. Refugees arrive with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs. Literally. They arrive scared, often not speaking very good English, and in total and complete culture shock. You have to have housing and furniture and food waiting for them. It's a big step, a huge project, but it proclaims the Gospel louder than any preacher.



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