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South Asian churches on "long and arduous journey" to peace

Cf. WCC press release PR-03-26 of 28 July 2003

WCC asks churches to respond to Liberia emergency

WCC member churches were asked today to urge their governments to support the immediate deployment of an adequately financed peacekeeping force in Liberia. In a 31 July message to member churches, WCC acting general secretary William Temu also asked them to join churches throughout Africa in ecumenical prayer for peace in Liberia, and to respond generously to Liberia's urgent humanitarian and relief needs through Action by Churches Together (ACT) appeal AFLR31. The message follows a 13 June letter from WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan stressing the need for a "credible peacekeeping force" and a lasting ceasefire.

South Asian church leader to discuss regional peace and security

In a climate of mounting enthusiasm about the possibility of reopened peace talks between India and Pakistan, South Asian church leaders are planning to get together to determine how churches can help build peace and stability in the region.

World Council of Churches assessment of the 'Road Map'

While welcoming the Middle East Road Map to peace, some reservations were expressed by Peter Weiderud, Director of the WCC's Commission of Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), in an assessment distributed today to CCIA members and WCC networks. Weiderud highlights that the Road Map includes "a number of encouraging elements" but "it is far from ideal", and details some of the "vague and disturbing elements in it, as well as significant gaps that need clarification". Weiderud also welcomes the initiative from UN secretary general Kofi Annan to post a peacekeeping force in the area, but he stresses that UN should have "a more active and comprehensive role (…) in the entire process of conflict resolution and not just in peacekeeping".

Faith and Order: a more audible call to visible unity of the churches

The World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order is preparing itself "to make its call to visible unity more audible to the churches".

Debt campaigners propose strategies to revitalise the debt movement

Cf. WCC press release, pr-03-24, 27 June 2003

New group of ecumenical accompaniers continues work in Palestine / Israel

The third group participating in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel is currently in the region and has begun serving with local churches, church-related organizations and Israeli and Palestinian NGOs promoting health, peace and human rights.

WCC general secretary to visit Russian Orthodox Church

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser will pay his last visit as World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary to the Russian Orthodox Church, 4-8 July. It will be his third visit to the church - the first was in 1993 soon after he had began serving as WCC general secretary, the second in 1998 before the WCC Assembly in Harare.

Illegitimate debt or arbitration? WCC addresses debt campaign divisions

Cf. WCC press update, pu-03-04, 20 February 2003

Job opening: WCC Coordinator and Programme Liaison Officer Public Information Team

The WCC currently seeks a Coordinator and Programme Liaison Officer for its Public Information Team.

WCC calls for peace-keepers in Liberia

World Council of Churches' (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser has today sent a letter to United Nations' (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan expressing serious concern at the escalation of fighting in Liberia between government forces and the rebel group, Liberians United For Reconciliation and Democracy. Citing the "gravity of the near-anarchy situation that has developed", Raiser calls on the UN to support current peace initiatives and encourage the parties to accept a "credible peacekeeping force", with the aim of securing a lasting ceasefire.

Nominations invited for "the most universal Christian mission gathering"

Invitations to nominate participants to the next Conference on World Mission and Evangelism have been sent out to World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches and organizations and networks affiliated with the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). The conference will take place in Athens, Greece, 12-19 May 2005.

"The position of the churches against war has increased their moral standing in society"

When the military actions in Iraq were over, those who had opposed the military invasion had to face the assessment - conveyed by the media and the military victors - that it had been "successful". The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser responds in this interview to the "critical questions" posed to organizations like the Council, which had a high profile in the pro-peace movement. He also mentions the announced "road map" to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Needed: a more responsible, secure and democratic world

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser has given his "unreserved support" to a message from local Swiss and French church leaders to the G8 presidents and prime ministers meeting in Evian, France from 1-3 June 2003. The WCC message of support expressed hope that the summit would recognize the need to build "a world that is genuinely more responsible and more in solidarity, more secure and more democratic".

Church leaders in France to discuss aftermath of Iraq war

The future of multi-lateralism and the international order, Iraq, the Middle East, and the role of the churches will be the focus of a 5 June meeting in Paris of representatives of churches in France and staff and members of the World Council of Churches' Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC/CCIA). The participants will also be received by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Orthodox participation in WCC: meeting to propose next steps

The Steering Committee of a Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC) will meet - in the place where Orthodox challenges to the Council first came to light five years ago - to oversee the implementation of its 2002 recommendations.

Reclaiming the vision of Alma Ata

"Go back to the principles of primary health care: reviving Alma Ata is the most important step to ensure 'Health For All'," said a 16-18 May consultation in Geneva facilitated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Peoples Health Movement.

WCC seeking proposals for theme of its next assembly

Cf. WCC Press Release PR-03-17, of 9 May 2003