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Letter on Haiti to the Caribbean Conference of Churches

Pastoral letter by the WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit

22 January 2010

Mr Gerard Granado
General secretary
Caribbean Conference of Churches

Geneva, 22 January 2010

Dear Gerard,

Warm greetings from Geneva in the name of Jesus Christ!

First of all, I would like to greet you as the newly elected General Secretary of the WCC and to reaffirm my commitment to continue working with you and the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) to further strengthen our mutually beneficial and historic ties with the goal of promoting the ecumenical vision both in the Caribbean and globally.

As you know, we are following the situation in Haiti very closely in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. I am extremely grateful for your message sent in appreciation to our initial response. I am particularly thankful for the statement issued by the CCC on 15 January. We at the WCC fully agree with your comments on the need to collaborate to bring about real and lasting development of this impoverished nation, beyond the current emergency efforts.

In a meeting with the leadership of the new ACT Alliance immediately following the earthquake, we identified the following needs:

1.    For the WCC and ACT to work together more closely in general and particularly in the case of Haiti.  At this stage, we are therefore supporting the efforts carried out by ACT Alliance, both in this current emergency stage to save lives and support communities in the country as well as in the long-term diaconal work and development of the country, which will include advocacy work (e.g. support to campaign for the cancelation of Haiti’s foreign dept, etc.)

2.    To work in close contact with our member churches and partners locally (with the Federation of Protestant Churches, etc.) and regionally (with the Caribbean Conference of Churches and the Latin American Council of Churches) to address the needs of the people.

3.    To support the victims through pastoral care and social assistance and healing the traumatized. To continue to pray for all these efforts in our struggle for life. In this regard, last Friday, 15 January, we had a moving service of prayer for the people of Haiti in the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre, where an offering was collected.

4.    To continue to work with other churches (e.g. Roman Catholic) and partners in the civil society and with the UN.

5.    To support the work of the churches and ecumenical agencies in the reconstruction of the infrastructure of the country, including the construction of church buildings.

We at the WCC, including the staff, the Caribbean Central Committee members, and the WCC president in the region, Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega Suárez, very much look forward to continuing to work directly with the Caribbean Conference of Churches and other partners helping to share with our brother and sisters in Haiti the “abundant life” which our Lord Jesus Christ intends for all of creation.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches