WCC Central Committee meeting

WCC Central Committee 2009

Statements on public issues

The WCC Central Committee passed a series of public statements and minutes:

Pakistan’s blasphemy law. The committee called on the government of Pakistan to “guarantee the rights of all religious minorities in the country”. It also stated that Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law has become “a major source of victimization and persecution” of religious minorities who are living “in a state of fear and terror”. Read more

Israeli settlements. The committee called on the Israeli government to freeze and begin to dismantle settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. It also encouraged a commitment to non-violence and peace negotiations, and reiterated the need for an international boycott of products and services from settlements. Read more

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The committee urged the WCC member churches “to publicly condemn violence against women” in the DRC. It urged all parties to the conflict to put an end to all acts of sexual violence and called on the government “to end impunity for rape and to evolve effective strategies to combat sexual violence”. Read more

Caste-based discrimination. The committee called on the WCC member churches to “recognize that the continued discrimination and exclusion of millions of people on the basis of caste” is a “serious challenge to the credibility of their witness to their faith in God”. Up to 260 million people worldwide are considered as “untouchable” by their own societies, contradicting the Christian belief that all are created equal in the image of God. Read more

Just finance and the economy of life. The committee noted that the global financial system has “enriched some people but has harmed many more, creating poverty, unemployment, hunger and death” and “widening the gap between rich and poor”. It called on member churches “not to retreat from their prophetic role,” and proposed “new indicators of progress” for the economy. Read more

Darfur, Sudan. The committee condemned “the mass atrocities committed against innocent civilians in Darfur”. It urged the government of Sudan “to assume full responsibility for the protection of its citizens” regardless of ethnicity or other affiliation and to “allow uninterrupted humanitarian assistance to reach all suffering people in Darfur”. Read more

Eco-justice and ecological debt. The committee stated that Christians have a moral obligation to promote ecological justice. The ecological debt is primarily owed by Northern industrialized countries to countries of the South on account of historical and current resource-plundering, environmental degradation and the dumping of greenhouse gases and toxic wastes. Read more

Seeking a nuclear-weapon-free world. The committee called on churches to take advantage of several promising opportunities in the coming year to advocate for a world without nuclear weapons. It called on states with nuclear weapons to advance towards “the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” and invited churches to support governments in creating regional nuclear weapon-free zones. Read more

Anti-Christian violence. The committee challenged WCC member churches to hear the cries of all “sisters and brothers in Christ enduring violence, threat and intimidation”, to act in “costly solidarity” with them and to challenge governments to protect the lives of their citizens. It also noted a decline of religious freedom in many parts of the world and an increase of religious intolerance. Read more

Conscientious objection to military service. The committee reiterated the WCC support for the right of conscientious objection and called on member churches to “uphold the right of refusal to bear and use arms” wherever possible. In many places churches observe challenges to the exercise of this right, which allows those whose conscience prohibits them from military service to engage in alternate means of service. Read more

Church-government dialogue in Fiji. The committee urged the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma to engage in dialogue with the interim government of Fiji. It commended the church for its careful and measured response to the actions taken against it by the interim government, which came to power following a military coup in December 2006 and has banned some church activities, arresting nine Methodist ministers. Read more

(Source: HERE)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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