The World Council of Churches has lamented the "intolerable loss of life" in Thailand and asked for all parties to abandon violence and return to negotiations.
In a 19 May letter to the Church of Christ in Thailand, the WCC general secretary Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed "a deep sense of sorrow" as news come in about "the continuing upsurge in violence which has led to the deaths of more than thirty people in Bangkok".
"We grieve with the people of Thailand at this intolerable loss of life and extend our condolences to the families of those that have died", Tveit wrote.
The WCC general secretary called upon "all parties involved in the present crisis to exercise restraint in actions and words, and particularly to abandon violence as a means of solving problems". He strongly urged "a return to negotiations for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis". "Violence cannot be the solution" he added.
Tveit pointed out to the need for "an open and thorough investigation of the actions taken by all sides so that those who resort to violence are held accountable to the rule of law".
Tveit expressed the "firm solidarity of the WCC with the people of Thailand in this time of distress" and commended the Church of Christ in Thailand "for their faithful witness to the Prince of Peace".
He encouraged the church "to strengthen their work in seeking justice and peace for all" and called on "all member churches within the fellowship of the WCC to join in prayers with the churches and Christians in Thailand".