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Decade to Overcome Violence group starts work on a study document for church

24 January 2002

A World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) working group meeting will bring 30 participants from different parts of the world to Geneva from 25-27 January 2002. The meeting will draft user guidelines for a study document for the churches on overcoming violence.

The document will focus on four major themes, identified as root causes of violence by responses to a 2000-2001 survey among churches. The four themes are:

  • the spirit and logic of violence

The guidelines will tease out some of the implications of these themes for the churches. It is clear, however, that the features, dynamics and interplay of these four phenomena will vary according to a particular church's context. The themes therefore need to be explored further in each church's specific environment.

"The themes have been set not just for academic study, but... as the lens through which churches can become more aware of the challenges ahead in overcoming violence and, thus, to assist them to find lasting and self-building solutions," said DOV coordinator Deenabandhu Manchala.

Although the themes are crucial for understanding violence as such, the group will be looking at their meaning and implications from the point of view of the DOV emphasis on overcoming violence. Their analysis will be shared with a broader church constituency and the wider international community.

Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010)

<br/><br/>At the Eighth Assembly of the WCC in Harare, Zimbabwe, delegates representing more than 300 WCC member churches brought the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV into being. The Assembly declared that on issues of non-violence and reconciliation, the WCC should "work strategically with the churches... to create a culture of non-violence". The Decade, which was launched world-wide in February 2001, will build on already existing initiatives around the world, and offer a forum for sharing experiences and establishing relationships so as to learn from one another.

For further information, please contact:

Diana Mavunduse, DOV communicator, tel.: (+41.22) 791.67.01