“The catastrophe affects us as fellow human beings”

In the aftermath of the natural disaster in Japan, Gottfried Locher conveyed his condolences to Japan’s ambassador to Switzerland, and called upon Protestants to pray for the country.

Gottfried Locher, president of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC), expressed his sympathy in a personal letter to Japan’s ambassador to Switzerland, following the recent natural disaster in Japan.

Like all Christians in Switzerland, Locher wrote that he was “deeply shaken” by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. This was only exacerbated by the inability to even begin to estimate the full impact of the catastrophe, and by the impending danger of a nuclear disaster of unknown proportions.

As Locher put it, the vulnerability of human life became apparent in a most terrible manner. “Christians know of the suffering that God himself underwent in Christ on the cross. They know that he knows our pain.”

Locher called upon the Christians of Switzerland in an appeal with the words: “The distance between our country and Japan is great. But still, this far-off catastrophe affects us here in Switzerland as well since it affects our fellow human beings, men, women, and children.” He added: “I call you to remember the people of Japan in your personal prayers today and all throughout the Lenten period. Our church congregations are also asked to incorporate prayers for Japan into their church services. We should think especially of those who have lost or are still missing loved ones.”

The FSPC will continue to follow developments there in close contact with church aid agencies. As Locher explained: “Then we can be ready as soon as the people of Japan require further material help in addition to our spiritual concerns.”

» Appeal (german)