Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Justice and peace are on the global agenda says WCC leader.

The theme of peace and justice is on the global church agenda with new energy at a time when more and more societies are experiencing conflict, intense poverty, drought, and injustice, says the World Council of Churches general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit.

In a release from the WCC, he cites recent world ecumenical events including the choice of the theme "God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace" for the Tenth WCC Assembly in 2013 in Korea; and the nearly 1,000 church leaders and peace activists who gathered in May for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation.

His remarks were given to the WCC Executive Committee during meetings last week in Ethiopia. "Let me, as I report to you, share how I see that we are already on our way towards a deeper reflection and a stronger commitment to justice and peace," said Tveit. "We now have a new momentum given through the moment we had together in Jamaica."

Tveit spoke at length about an emerging discussion on the role and commitment of the churches in peace and justice. He also reported on the ongoing work of the WCC and his visits and interactions with member churches around the world over the past six months.

According to Tveit the WCC is moving in a definite direction with member churches around the world calling for Just Peace. "And that movement is more than a slogan," the release said. "It is a real move toward changing how the church interacts with the world and addresses issues of justice and peace."

Member churches’ voices come from the Pacific region, the Middle East, North and East Africa, South and East Asia, the Americas, and even Tveit’s home country, Norway, which experienced a deadly terrorist attack in July. "As churches, our focus should be not on legitimizing actions of war, but on how nonviolent actions can replace the use of military force, how we can build peace from below and from within, and how we can give political leaders moral support and standards to protect their own citizens without using violence," Tveit said.

"But we also need to work, to act, and to create Just Peace in all places as we go on with our reflections and discussion, and also give the reflections realistic and constructive inputs and direction."

Tveit acknowledged that the ecumenical movement has been debating the role of the church in peace and justice for decades. "It is an unfinished debate which will not lead to easy answers disconnected from the day-to-day realities in which many churches wrestle with their Christian calling to justice and peace." The full text of the report is at

Source: 9/21/2011 Newsline

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