Expression of solidarity with the churches in Yugoslavia
Joint letter sent 6 October 2000.
To: H.H. Pavle, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Bishop Ján Valent of the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Yugoslavia
Bishop István Csete-Szemesi of the Christian Church in FRY
Superintendent D. Martin Hovan of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Yugoslavia
Brothers in Christ,
The World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches express their sense of solidarity and fraternal encouragement for the churches and people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at this critical time.
Churches around the world have been following with concern and emotion the unfolding events in Yugoslavia in the last days and weeks. It is with a sense of great respect that all have watched the efforts of the newly elected democratic leadership in the country to assume responsibilities and seek to ensure a political and negotiated transition, which respects the will of the people and democratic principles.
We assure you of our thoughts and prayers at this time when the people of Yugoslavia are confronted with such important choices for the future. May our Risen Lord bless and guide all those who seek to contribute wisdom, discernment and truth to the solution of the political crisis in your country. We pray that the leadership of the churches in Yugoslavia will be given the strength and courage to guide and accompany the process of change, and thus contribute to the building of a lasting order of peace and justice in this long-suffering region.
For many years, the WCC and CEC have worked alongside the member churches in Serbia and Montenegro to manifest Christian solidarity in times of need, to communicate the voice of churches there to the broader world, and to assist them in responding to the most important social and humanitarian needs in the communities.
We stand prepared to work ever more closely with your churches, and seek ways together with you for a more effective response to the situation and needs of people.
To this end we hope to have an early opportunity of meeting with you and other leaders of the Yugoslav churches in order to determine how the wider ecumenical community might be of assistance.
With fraternal greetings,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Konrad Raiser Keith Clements
General Secretary General Secretary
World Council of Churches Conference of European Churches