World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Minute on Kosovo

WCC Central Committee, Geneva, 30 August-6 September 2006

06 September 2006

WCC Central Committee, Geneva, 30 August-6 September, 2006

Deliberation by the international community on the future status of Kosovo is
presently underway and expected to near completion by the year's end 2006.
Kosovo cannot continue to survive in a state of indetermination. The realization
of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Kosovo must begin, realistically, with peaceful
co-existence.

All those who call Kosovo their home must be permitted to return, regain rightful
residence, and all must learn, again, to live side-by-side in peace and in harmony
as good neighbours. Then, once familiar and comfortable with each other's
presence, they must begin integrating into all phases of life, especially in cities,
which at present are almost entirely mono-ethnic and mono-religious. This will
serve to define the beginnings of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.
On this basis the international community can implement a sustained effort toward
an enduring and just peace, while securing freedom and tolerance in a truly multiethnic
and multi-religious Kosovo.

To that end, we support the leaders and senior representatives of the Serbian
Orthodox Church, the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the Roman Catholic
Church, the Protestant Evangelical Church and the Jewish Community gathered
on 2-3 May, 2006 at the historical Pec Patriarchate Monastery for an Interfaith
Conference on Peaceful Coexistence and Dialogue. The Conference was held at
the initiative of religious representatives in Kosovo, hosted by the Serbian Orthodox
Church, organized and sponsored by Norwegian Church Aid and accompanied
and co-moderated by the World Conference on Religions and Peace.

Therefore, given this background, the World Council of Churches Central
Committee, meeting in Geneva between 30 August and 6 September, 2006:

• Encourages the religious leaders of Kosovo to continue to work for reconciliation
in order to foster healing and harmonious relations in a society that has
been torn asunder by violence, hatred and conflict; and to ask all relevant
authorities to support efforts for reconciliation and;

• Commits the WCC, in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches
(CEC), to continue to monitor the situation on the maintaining of human rights
and religious freedom, particularly of religious minorities, and the preservation
of cultural and religious patrimonial heritage in Kosovo, and in this connection
to keep member churches informed of developments and express support
for reconciliation.