From the Worldwide Faith News archives

World Council of Churches Responds to Liberia Crisis

Date 25 May 1996 05:33:21

23 May 1996 
96190  World Council of Churches Responds to Liberia Crisis 
                         by John Newbury 
       WCC Office of Communication - Press and Information 
GENEVA--The conflict in Liberia and flight of refugees has prompted a 
special visit to West Africa by a World Council of Churches (WCC) 
specialist in refugee affairs plus a letter of concern from the WCC general 
secretary to the United Nations secretary general. 
     On May 17, Melaku Kifle, coordinator of the WCC's Refugee Service, 
flew to Ghana carrying a check for US$30,000 which will be used by the 
Christian Council of Ghana to provide food and water form some of the 
newly-arrived refugees there. 
     While in Ghana, Kifle visited the camp where Liberian refugees are now 
being housed after the Ghanian authorities allowed them ashore following a 
ten-day ordeal at sea.  Kifle then attended a meeting in Accra of church 
leaders from West and Central Africa to discuss how churches can better 
foresee and respond to circumstances which create vast numbers of refugees. 
     In a related move, WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser has told 
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, U.N.  secretary general, that the WCC "is deeply 
concerned about the terrifying developments in Liberia. ..." 
     By letter, Raiser appealed to Boutros-Ghali to use his good offices 
"to end violence and foster reconciliation" and promised "we will continue 
to support any efforts in this respect." 
     Raiser said the WCC continued to support the efforts of the churches 
in the region to bring peace and reconciliation in Liberia.  He added, "The 
WCC urges all its member churches to uphold the churches and communities in 
Liberia in their prayers." 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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