What St. Paul says about terror

The Herald of Christian Science, German Edition

JOSEPH Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin: names that immediately come to mind when one considers the worst crimes committed against humanity. These days, two other names dominate the headlines: the former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, who is being prosecuted in The Hague for his crimes in Croatia and Kosovo; and Osama bin Laden, high on the American list of most dangerous terrorists.

It seems as if war, civil war, and terror can only be grappled with when they acquire the name of a person. This may help one to express oneself succinctly. "Stalinistic methods" have become synonymous with murder and torture by secret police. "Hitler's Germany," similarly, now refers to the expulsion and extermination of the Jews.

In the linking of a name with crimes, though, the following facts stand out: Hitler's suicide did not end persecutions and contempt for humanity. Stalin's death did not end the arbitrary system of injustice in the former Soviet Union. And the expulsion of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin did not stop civil war and torture.

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A closetful of gratitude
June 17, 2002

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