The news this week has been full of the debate and vote on air strikes against IS in Syria, and violence and loss of life in so many countries. My reaction to most of this has been fear, fear of a potential spiral of violence arising from actions. I am sure that many in the countries directly affected are faced by an overwhelming fear for their own lives and for the lives of their loved ones.
For me, it will be a success for those who seek to use violence to further their cause, if we live in fear. I hope that the United Nations action can bring about an end to the fear and horror caused by this terrorism, but I fear that it may be perceived as outside aggression.
I am sure the leaders of all countries are grappling with how to ensure that these actions we are now undertaking do not become a further opportunity to radicalise and recruit people to the cause of terror. Surely we must meet violence with something more than violence in return, but with constructive “economic, diplomatic and security strategy” to use the words of other Christian churches this week. I would want to add to this that as a Christian I hope we also meet it with prayer.