The National Council of Churches has sharply criticized the invasion of Grenada in telegrams sent to the White House and the secretaries of State and Defense, charging that the action goes against "international law and the United Nations charter."
Signed by NCC general secretary Claire Randall of New York on behalf of the organization, the message was based on a protest issued by the Caribbean Conference of Churches just hours after the invasion began Tuesday.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Conference, which includes Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the island complex, said it "strongly deplores" the invasion, and called it "military intervention in the Caribbean by forces external to the region."
" . . . The fact of Caribbean presence among the invading forces by no means alters that principle," the protest statement said.
In her message to U.S. leaders, Randall said, "We are especially alarmed by the injection of our U.S. military forces into another country and the violation of its sovereignty . . . . We believe these actions constitute a dangerous precedent whereby intervention is justified by the invitation of neighboring governments."
Similar views were registered by the Latin American Council of Churches, which includes more than 100 Protestant denominations in that region.
The Latin American Council said it "strongly rejects" the U.S. invasion of Grenada, which the church group called "in keeping with the policy of intervention and domination of the present United States administration, a policy which is dangerously leading the world to a global confrontation."
The Latin American Council's statement, signed for the Brazil-based council by its president, Methodist Bishop Federico J. Pagura, called for "concerted action by all of the churches on this continent and around the world" to encourage "prompt withdrawal of the invading forces" in Grenada.
"At the same time we hope that this concerted action will impede the continuation of the merciless attacks, and bring to a close the pending threats against the noble people of Nicaragua, with whom all of our Latin American people feel fully identified," the Latin American church group said.