World Council of Churches

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

Congratulations on presidential election

20 January 2006

Letter to Dr Michelle Bachelet, President-Elect of Chile, 20 January, 2006

Dear Dr Bachelet,

It is with great pleasure that we at the World Council of Churches received the
results of the presidential election which gave you a clear majority of the votes
with a wide margin. On behalf of our general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia,
who had the opportunity of visiting your country in November 2004 and met
with the "Ministro Secretario General de Gobierno", as well as on behalf of our
colleagues, we send our sincere congratulations for this important victory which,
without a doubt, is a victory not only for Chileans but for all those in the ecumenical
movement who share the values of justice and solidarity that you stand

We share with you, the churches and the Chilean people, a vision of a country
that practises solidarity, fellowship, inclusivity and respect for God's creation. In
this spirit we trust that your presidency will contribute to overcoming the alarming
inequalities which exist in Chilean society. We also share the aspirations of a
country that fully guarantees freedom of religion, and that values and provides
spaces for all churches to contribute to building a country of sisters and brothers.

As you rightly said in your speech, Chile has already made great progress towards
building this vision and we believe that it will be possible to go even further at
this stage under your leadership.

The WCC will hold its 9th Assembly next month in Porto Alegre. This is the
first time a WCC assembly is being held in Latin America. We believe that, at
this moment in the history of Latin America and the world, Chile is being called
to play an even greater role in furthering international dialogue and cooperation
so that during this millennium we may make progress towards greater understanding
and more justice in the distribution of resources, as opposed to their
excessive concentration which we are witnessing today. This dialogue and cooperation
should enable us to value the cultural and spiritual richness that each community,
country or region contributes to life on this planet.

We, as the WCC, will continue to help you, through the churches in Chile, to
fulfill your dreams for your country that works towards greater solidarity and fellowship
towards its people and the other nations of the world.

Marta Palma, Latin America Desk
Guillermo Kerber, CCIA