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Welsh churches apologise for "perversion of Jesus' message" during First World War

Posted on on 06 July 2014
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The Union of Welsh Independent Churches has apologised for the role it played in encouraging men to enlist to fight during the First World War.

The union, which represents more than 450 Welsh churches, stated that it "record[ed] with joy the participation of Welsh people who stood for the Kingdom of God by resisting warmongering", but acknowledged that the Indpendent churches had been "amongst the most enthusiastic advocates of war" in 1914-18.

Reflecting on how those who objected to the conflict were treated, many of whom were "reviled and punished", the churches offered a "sincere apology" for their role in the recruitment process, stating that slogans employed such as 'better shame than death' was "only one of the lies so often heard in chapels... during the war".

The Union of Welsh Independent Churches offered its "sincere apologies for every perversion of Jesus' message to place fresh fuel on the pyre of war".

To atone for this, the union has committed itself to honouring the memory of those "taken by war" and "to work tirelessly for peace during the 1914-1918 War commemoration period".

Source: The Union of Welsh Independent Churches

Images courtesy of the Union of Welsh Independent Churches

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News