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Let us work for peace in a disrupted world – The Secretary General’s Easter Message

Bishop Anthony Poggo, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has shared an Easter message.

“They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.”

When we read John’s gospel account of the woman discovering the empty tomb in the resurrection garden, we sense her surprise and shock.

Things are not as she expected them to be.

The stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty.

She runs and calls two of Jesus’ disciples. They too start running. At the tomb, all they find are the strips of linen that were wrapped around the crucified Jesus.

It is a scene of disorder and disruption.

In our world currently, millions of people are living in situations of extreme disorder and disruption, caused by issues like war and conflict, poverty and climate crisis.

Civil War in Sudan is causing a humanitarian crisis that’s seeing ongoing loss of human life, food insecurity, economic decline and the displacement of more than 8 million people.

Similarly, due to the Israel-Gaza conflict, the UN have declared that famine in Gaza is imminent.

Globally, the impact of climate crisis, including rising pollution and extreme weather events, is harming health, causing mass displacement of people and increasing hunger risks.

Amid such situations of conflict, suffering and inequality, the idea of a faithful God may feel incomprehensible. Like Mary Magdalene in the garden, we may find ourselves crying out, wondering why God is missing and absent.

But as the story unfolds, we see that Jesus is indeed present, even though it takes Mary a while to recognise him as the risen Christ and not the gardener.

As Jesus stands before her, death’s defeat is disrupted by resurrection hope, reordering all that is broken in the world.

It is a redemptive act, bringing transformation, peace and hope. Appearing to his disciples, the first words Jesus utters to them is “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

As Secretary General – and in our work as an Anglican Communion Office – we are in close contact with many Anglican churches around the globe who are actively working for peace and restoration in their settings.

In recent weeks, I have had the privilege of visiting the Church of Sudan and as they seek to support people impacted by the civil war.

I have visited the Church of Bangladesh and Church of Myanmar seeing firsthand many of the vital church and community projects they deliver.

Our Anglican UN Team have represented the voice of Anglicans at the Commission on the Status of Women, speaking out on matters of gender justice, empowerment and poverty alleviation.

The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Anglican Alliance continue to support humanitarian work in response to conflict in the Holy Land.

In each situation – and many others like it – I am encouraged by the joint witness of Anglicans as they make visible the love of God in their communities.

This Easter, may we continue to be an Anglican Communion that goes out, shares God’s hope and lives out a faith that longs for God’s restoration. Let us work for peace in a disrupted world.

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