Day 27: Mark Weisbrot

Mark Weisbrot
Just Foreign Policy
4410 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, #290
Washington, DC 20016

Dear Mr. Weisbrot,

My name is Emmett Eldred. I am one of many youth and young adults who belong to an active, passionate movement within the Church of the Brethren to better reflect the love and teachings of Jesus in our everyday lives. I am writing to you as part of a series of over 1000 letters that I will write over the next year to public figures and community leaders about the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

It is my hope that you will share the EYN’s story and partner in their mission of bringing peace to Nigeria. I’m sure you reminder the 276 schoolgirls from northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Roughly three-fourths of those girls belong to the EYN. Few groups have suffered from the Nigerian violence more severely than the EYN, and their situation continues to worsen.

However, it is not only the suffering of the EYN that makes their story so inspiring, but also their response to their suffering. The Church of the Brethren, including the EYN, is a historic peace church. The EYN have been faithful in their commitment to peace, despite their great trials.

In the face of great hatred, fear and division, the EYN continue to respond with far greater love, courage, and community. They understand that they must be beacons of Christ’s love to a landscape darkened by violence. They have become leaders in working to restore community, dialogue, and the dignity of all Nigerians, even when it means sacrifice.

These people fill me with hope, and I will never stop advocating for them.

I fear that if we do not honor the leadership and example of the EYN, the United States may respond through military measures, as we are seeing now in Syria. The similarities between the situation in Syria and in Nigeria concern me. We need to advocate for the EYN and their vision, if we are to bring peace to Nigeria without involving our military.

I hope you will learn more about the EYN and consider what you and your organization can do to partner with them in their ministry of reconciliation. The EYN represent the possibility of peace in Nigeria. But as their own safety continues to grow more tenuous, they need our help and partnership to make that possibility a reality.

With thanks and the love of Christ,

Emmett Eldred
Carnegie Mellon University SMC# 2046
Pittsburgh, PA 15289

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