My dear Archbishop Nathaniel
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the immense damage caused by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami and subsequent aftershocks in Japan. I have been stunned by the pictures which are reaching us with the images of human tragedy, displacement and the physical damage to so many structures in many communities.
Very recently I sent our prayers and condolences to Bishop Victoria Matthews of Christchurch, New Zealand, and almost a year ago, I visited Haiti following the massive earthquake there.
Since the earthquake in Haiti we have seen severe climatic changes with resultant flooding, demolition of property and also sadly the tragic loss of human life. We don’t know at this time the extent of loss and damage you are facing, but we are shocked and want to assure you, your parishioners and the Japanese people of our prayers at this time.
On behalf of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, I send our condolences to the families of those who died or are missing and the assurance of our prayerful support in the days ahead. Though we are far away in the southern tip of Africa, we are one in Christ, you remain our neighbour and we are touched by your pain and loss.
While we don’t have certainty about what is causing the severe climatic changes we are witnessing around the world, their impact is devastating to all. As COP 17 prepares to come to Durban, South Africa, later this year, my prayer is that honest and in-depth discussions that lead to binding protocols will be put in place which will contribute to the reversal of climate change and signal a new global effort and commitment to respect the integrity of creation and our environment.
Again, please be assured of our prayers for you and all the people of Japan.
Yours in the service of Christ,
+Thabo Cape Town