Promoting Just Peace
Christians and churches are entrusted with the ministry of peace and reconciliation. This ministry calls for ecumenical engagement by the churches in light of inter-personal, economic, environmental, military and other forms of violence in society, in families and even in the church. During the 2001-2010 Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV), awareness grew, churches got involved, creative actions were taken and resources were shared.
An International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in 2011 served to share the harvest of the DOV and to seek collaboration and common action going forward on the basis of an Ecumenical Call to Just Peace.
Peace-related networks convened by the WCC carry the work forward with emphases that include economic justice, climate justice, and peace-building and security policies.
Several activities initiated during the decade continue, such as the annual International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDPP), celebrated on the 21st of September, and the solidarity visits – formerly known as Living Letters visits – to churches in conflict situations. Such visits – rooted in the church’s ministry of mission and witness – accompany churches in their sharing of experiences, addressing their differences, and help them to promote non-violent resolution of conflicts, reconciliation and forgiveness.
The concept of just peace, developed at the IEPC, will be a major theological focus in the coming years and is reflected in the theme for the WCC’s 10th Assembly in 2013: “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”.