World Council of Churches

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

Message of support in the search for peace

20 February 2006

Addressed to the member churches in Sri Lanka and the National Christian Council
of Sri Lanka, 20 January, 2006

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The World Council of Churches has accompanied the Sri Lankan people and
churches in their longing for peace and reconciliation. We were delighted with
the developments in the year 2002, when Norway brokered a cease-fire agreement
between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Ealam. This was a significant opportunity to build a lasting peace based on justice
and reconciliation. The series of peace talks that followed provided signs of
hope for the people who suffered over two decades of conflict that brought immeasurable
loss of lives, suffering and destruction. The international community welcomed
with enthusiasm the peace process and the promises of aid and assistance
for reconstruction, rehabilitation and development.

The World Council of Churches is deeply concerned by the recent developments.
If these are not checked immediately, the conflict will result in renewed hostilities
and escalation of armed violence. Consequently, we have written to President
Mahinda Rajapakse in support of the call of heads of churches to all the parties
to take immediate steps to check the spiral of violence. Attached is a copy of the
letter sent to the President.

We call upon churches in Sri Lanka and the National Christian Council of Sri
Lanka to continue their search for peace. In this call we are all encouraged by the
faith we have in the risen and living Lord who, having gone through the struggle
of life, conquered sin and death and now sits on the right hand of God to
intercede on our behalf. Sri Lanka is going through a difficult and trying time.

Let us hope and pray as the prophet Micah said, every person shall sit under his
or her own wine and fig tree and "none shall make them afraid" (Micah 4:4).

We, as always, uphold you in prayer.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary