Commentary: Our world is in need of peacemakers

My thoughts continue to dwell upon the tragic death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed last week in an act of terrorism.

Many of us have heard of his commitment to the people of Libya, one time telling his mother, "Libya is no more dangerous than Oakland."

He seems to have genuinely believed in Libyans and loved his life and work there. Truly his death came too soon at the hands of killers whose violent anger has caused untold suffering for not only Stevens and his family, but for the entire world. The media continues to cover the story and while it seems to be inconclusive, terrorist groups are claiming responsibility and linking it to a 9/11 anniversary act of terror.

Again, Muslims are propelled into the public eye, and Islam is indicted as a violent religion with the intent to take over the world. I do not believe this to be the case.

As a Christian, I am often embarrassed at the words and acts of fellow Christians, and at worst ashamed of the action over the centuries taken in the name of God that caused loss of life. I know my friends must feel the same way.

How awful it is that a small few have claimed their religion and used it as a veil to play out their anger and violence in the most tragic of ways.

Sadly, Islam is now under scrutiny, and with our decade-old wound still painful, we see the fear and distrust rise again.

Friends, let us be part of the healing. Let us, through our commitment to dialogue, truly be bridge-builders. Our world is hurting and in need of peacemakers. May we be Christians committed to our faith, committed to peace, committed to understanding.

The Rev. SARAH HALVERSON is a pastor at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa.

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