WCC calls for prayer and action in Somalia and South Asia

Peace and human security in Somalia and South Asia were key concerns addressed on Friday 16 September by the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) at its meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Executive Committee, a governing body of the WCC, meets twice per year to set policy and transact business.

In describing the situation in Somalia and throughout the Horn of Africa, the Executive Committee noted that the region “has been undergoing a serious humanitarian crisis for several years” due to drought, famine and armed conflict.

Among a series of actions recommended by the WCC were appeals to the international community, the United Nations and African Union, national governments, churches and relief organizations to provide care for the suffering and to cooperate in strategies to establish peace.

 The statement expresses appreciation to churches, the ACT Alliance and other ecumenical partners in providing humanitarian aid and invites additional churches and other religious bodies to join in this effort.

A minute on peace and security in South Asia details the circumstances that make the subcontinent “one of the most volatile regions of the world”. Particular concern is shown for inter-religious and inter-cultural relations in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, as well as for suffering arising in the context of the so-called war on terror.

The WCC will continue to monitor the misuse of national blasphemy laws, inter-religious conflict and discrimination against Dalits, Indigenous Peoples and religious minorities. With member churches and other partners, the WCC will continue to advocate for justice, reconciliation and peace.

This action by the Executive Committee comes in response to an April 2011 invitation from the South Asia Ecumenical Forum on Peace and Security asking that the WCC and the Christian Conference of Asia to be more deeply “involved in global ecumenical advocacy on peace security in South Asia”.

The minute expresses support and encouragement to regional churches and ecumenical organizations “as they work for peace, security, reconciliation, religious tolerance and justice for all” throughout South Asia.

The Executive Committee calls on WCC member churches to pray for the people and churches in South Asia, Somalia and throughout the Horn of Africa.

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

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