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Churches to consult on "War on Terrorism"

31 July 2002

The US-declared war on terrorism, still widely popular in the United States but subject to increasing scepticism elsewhere in the world, will be the focus of an international ecumenical meeting in Washington, D.C., 5-6 August.

"Beyond September 11: Implications for US Churches and the World," is sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in consultation with the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCCUSA) and Church World Service.

"We are providing a space for churches to discern together what the events following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US mean for the United States and the world," said Elizabeth Ferris, programme executive for the WCC's International Relations Team in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Churches in other parts of the world have expressed great interest in the opinions, analysis and actions of US churches," Ferris said. "The report of the meeting will be shared with the WCC's Central Committee meeting" when it meets in Geneva in late August and with the NCCCUSA when its Assembly meets in the fall.

The meeting, which is expected to draw more than 40 representatives from US churches and 10 international church representatives, will be held at the 4H Conference Center near Washington, D.C.

As churches around the world express increasing alarm about the war on terrorism, the lack of media coverage of US church attitudes leaves the international community "with the impression of a certain quietism among the churches in the United States when it comes to expressing their views about the policies and actions of their own government," said Ferris, a US Quaker.

Ferris said that while the focus of the meeting will be on discerning the consequences of current political developments in the United States, participants may decide to issue a statement from the meeting.

The sessions will include discussions of the following topics:

  • Theological and ethical perspectives, introduced by Dr. Walter Altmann, Brazil, and Mary Lord, American Friends Service Committee.

International Participants:

Dr Walter Altmann, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil

Rev. Dora Arce, Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba

Ms. Carmencita Karagdag, National Council of Churches in the Philippines

Dr. John Langmore, ILO Liaison Office to the UN, (Anglican Church in Australia)

Ms. Abla Nasir, YWCA Palestine, Jerusalem

Archbishop Condrea Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Archbishopric of America and Canada

Rev. Renta Nishihara, The Anglican Church in Japan

Mr Ernie Regehr, Project Ploughshares, Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Canada

Mr Paul Renshaw, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Bishop Mano Rumalshah, United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (UK and Pakistan)

Rev. Eunice Santana, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Puerto Rico

US participants:

Ms Mia Adjali, United Methodist Office at the United Nations

Mr Liberato Bautista, General Board of Church and Society

Rev Oscar Bolioli, Presbyterian Church (USA), NCCCUSA

Bishop Stephen P. Bouman, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Mr Jim Bowman, Office of Public Policy, Lutheran World Relief

Mr Dale W. Brown, Church of the Brethren

Mr Vernon S. Broyles, III, National Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Mr Daryl J. Byler, Mennonite Central Committee, US Washington Office

Mr Steven Cupic, Office of International Affairs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the US and Canada

Ms Lois McCullough Dauway, Women's Division: General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church

Ms Marie Dennis, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Mr Dennis Frado, Lutheran Office for World Community, Division for Church in Society, ELCA

Ms Anne Glynn-Mackoul, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Ms Catherine Gordon, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Mr. Gabriel Habib, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East / NCCCUSA

Mr Chris Hobgood, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Ms Mary Yoder Holsopple, Peace and Justice Collaborative

Mr Victor Hsu, Church World Service and Witness

Ms Kathleen Kern, Mennonite Church USA

Ms Mary Lord, American Friends Service Committee

Dr Janice Love, United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr Victor Makari, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Dr Belle Miller McMaster, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Ms Wendy Patten, Human Rights Watch

Ms Barbara Ricks Thompson, NCCCUSA

Mr Joe Volk, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Rev. Angelique Walker-Smith, National Baptist Convention USA

Bishop C. Dale White, United Methodist Church

Ms Lisa Wright, Church World Service and Witness

For additional information, Philip E. Jenks, communications officer, U.S. Office, World Council of Churches, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 915, New York, NY 101115, +1 212 870 3193, pej@wcc-coe.org or Media Relations Office in Geneva, tel: +41 (0)22 791 64 21