World Council of Churches

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

Message of solidarity

10 September 2003

Letter to the Protestant Federation of Haiti and member churches, 10 September, 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to address you with the words used by the Apostle Paul in his
address to the Christians of Corinth:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-merciful Father, the
God whose consolation never fails us! He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we in turn
may be able to comfort others in any trouble of theirs and to share with them the consolation
we ourselves receive from God." (2 Cor. 1, 3-4)

We have received and read with a lot of concern your message to the nation on
August 7th, 2003: "Is Haiti being led to impunity, gangsterism and criminality?" The
question you are asking seems to have an affirmative answer in the text of your
message. You have made a very troubling analysis of the situation in your country.
Your message is very critical and demands a quick response.

In response to the appeal you send to the international community, the World
Council of Churches (WCC) would like to assure you of the solidarity of its member
churches and our attention to the situation in Haiti. Several churches are following
closely the developments in your country. We are convinced that the
increased suffering of the population renders necessary, more than ever, a dialogue
between the different parties in conflict, so that the living conditions of the Haitian
population may truly change.

During the last WCC visit to Haiti in March 2002, our representatives were
witnesses to the degree of violence in the country and they called for our churches
to lead a large movement of peaceful protest. Such an action is very pertinent
in the framework of the Decade "Overcome Violence - the churches' search for reconciliation
and peace" launched by the WCC in 2001. Since this visit, the situation has
not improved. Quite the contrary, your message underlines the constant degradation
which the Haitian society suffers. The churches in Haiti have worked courageously
to defend human dignity and to help the population in its fight for survival.

We pray God to bless the reconciliation efforts by the churches and the
Christian population in Haiti.

A joint delegation from the WCC, the Caribbean Conference of Churches and
the World Service from the US churches will visit Haiti in November this year
in response to an invitation from the Protestant Federation of Haiti. We believe
this visit will be an occasion to reinforce our ties of solidarity with the churches
and the Haitian people, and to share our common hope.

We appeal to the Government of Haiti urgently to apply integrally the resolutions
806 and 822 from the Organization of American States.

Please receive, dear friends, our fraternal support and prayers. As you say yourselves
in your message: "Resist brothers and sisters. Do not pact with the Evil.

Denounce the crimes and the criminals." And with the Apostle Paul we say: "Mend
your ways; take our appeal to heart; agree with one another; live in peace; and the God of
love and peace will be with you." (2 Cor. 13:11)

In the communion of faith,

Konrad Raiser
General Secretary