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While condemning all use of chemical weapons in Syria, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said that “we must do everything possible to starve the fire of war rather than feeding it with further deadly armaments.”

In an open letter to the United Nations Security Council issued on 4 September, Tveit expressed profound concern at the current situation in Syria. His message came following discussions with the church leaders in Amman, Jordan, where he is participating in a conference on “Challenges facing Arab Christians” on invitation of His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad.

“The crime of using chemical weapons is to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. However, an attack from outside Syria is likely to increase suffering and the risk of more sectarian violence, threatening every community in the nation including Christians,” Tveit said.

He went on to say that, at this crucial time in Syria and in the Middle East, what people want is peace.

Tveit stressed that “a negotiated political solution” is the only way for justice and peace in Syria.

He particularly encouraged the leaders of the USA and Russia to agree on their contributions to a political process towards peace and justice for Syria.

The WCC general secretary joined the call of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, invoking prayers for peace in Syria, to be observed on 7 September.

Full text of the WCC general secretary's open letter on Syria

WCC general secretary's comments on Syria featured in The Economist

WCC condemns chemical weapons use and calls on UN to fulfil its responsibility to protect Syrians (WCC news release of 27 August 2013)

WCC general secretary speaks on challenges facing Arab Christians (WCC news release of 6 September 2013)

WCC member churches in Syria


WCC general secretary speaks on challenges facing Arab Christians