the Church and landmines

Here’s a story of a double amputee named Armin Kohli, from Switzerland, who rode his bicycle 4800 kilometers (3000 miles) to raise awareness concerning the danger of landmines.He cycled through 14 countries for 48 days, finishing at the banks of the Dead Sea in mid-November. (from Al Jazeera- English, written by Iman Azzi)

The website: Landmine Marathon 

An excerpt of the article concerning the victims of landmines:

“According to the latest landmine monitor report from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), released last week, nearly 30 per cent of the 5,751 victims of landmines in 2006 were children. Three-quarters of all victims were civilians.”

 landmine victimsKohli is quoted as saying,

“Being disabled does not mean [landmine victims] cannot a have a normal life, they just need to receive proper assistance. Governments must reach out to the victims and support them.”

Or shall we rather say that, in the Kingdom of God (“For to us a child is born, and to us a child is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder . . . Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, …” Isaiah 8:6-7) such needs will be recognized, as the people of God in Orthodox parishes througout the world encounter people who suffer in these ways,  and attend to their spiritual needs, both of body and of soul.

I may not always be able to count on my earthly government, but I will always look to the Church to act according to her mandate and very being, which is both Divine and human.  

Here’s a website that is informative on these matters; the data is from the Orthodox country of Serbia as well as Montenegro from 2004, but more up-to-date data from around the world can also be accessed. Website: http://www.icbl.org/lm/2004/serbia_montenegro At the bottom of the page is a section entitled “Disability Policy and Practice:” http://www.icbl.org/lm/2004/serbia_montenegro#Heading15271

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