The World Council of Churches (WCC) and its member churches around the world warmly welcome the historic announcement made by the Colombian government and the FARC revolutionary force agreeing to a framework for ending 50 years of internal conflict and addressing issues of justice and reparations to the victims.

This breakthrough deal, to be finalized and signed within six months, is a sign of hope not only for Colombians but also for the whole world. We congratulate both leaders for their announced commitment to clear the path for a final peace agreement.

We praise the agreement of the parties to address the whole issue of human rights abuses that have occurred during the conflict. They have agreed to form a truth commission, to provide for reparations for war victims, and to offer amnesty for combatants except those who committed war crimes.

During a recent pilgrimage through Latin America, along with our regional president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rev. Gloria Ulloa, of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, I had the opportunity to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota and to affirm the support of the international ecumenical community to the peace process in the country. On that occasion, we stressed the importance of the active participation of churches and faith-based organizations in the implementation of mechanisms of education for peace in Colombia in the post-conflict era.

Churches in Colombia along with civil society have been striving for justice and peace for several decades. An end to the conflict promises a new dawn of stability for the Colombian people.

I invite Christians everywhere to join me in prayer for the political leaders from both sides and for their work for peace.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary