From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Iraq crisis: churches to discuss common response

From "Claudia Hoffmann-Denariť" <>
Date Mon, 03 Feb 2003 17:32:54 +0100

World Council of Churches
Press Release 03-08
For Immediate Use
3 February 2003

Iraq crisis: churches to discuss common response

Forging a common and consistent response by churches to the threat of
military action in Iraq is the goal of an urgent one-day meeting by European
church leaders scheduled for Wednesday, 5 February, in Berlin. The meeting is
convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC), following an initiative by
the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), and in consultation with the
Conference of European Churches (CEC).

The church leaders will meet German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Wednesday
after the meeting. A press conference is being organized at 14.00 hrs. in the
building of the "Evangelischen Akademie" in the French Church 
Friedrichstadtkirche (French Dom) at the "Berliner Gendarmenmarkt".

Peter Weiderud, coordinator of the WCC International Affairs team, noted in
the letter of invitation that " the crisis in Iraq is moving into a new, even
more critical, phase" since the weapons' inspectors' first report to the UN
Security Council on Monday, 27 January. Emphasizing that Europe has an
"extremely significant role" in the present crisis, he stated that the
meeting would be "valuable both for individual churches as well as for the
ecumenical movement as a whole, in order to prevent an humanitarian
catastrophe and the far-reaching implications a possible war would have on
the region as well as internationally".

Participants will include WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, CEC
general secretary Rev. Dr Keith Clements, and EKD chairman Prdses Manfred
Kock. Representatives from the Middle East Council of Churches and the
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA will also be present.

The full list of participants follows: 

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, general secretary of the World Council of Churches

Rev. Dr Keith Clements, general secretary of the Council of European Churches

Prdses Manfred Kock, president of the Council of the Evangelischen Kirche in
Deutschland (EKD) ( 

Bishop Dr. Walter Klaiber, head of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher
Kirchen in Deutschland (ACK) (, and Evangelical-Methodist
Church (Germany) (

Rev. Dr Jean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the Protestant Federation of
France ( 

Bishop Mag. Herwig Sturm, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg and Helvetic
Confessions in Austria ( 

Rev. Thomas Wipf, president of the Federation of  Swiss Protestant Churches 

Bishop Jonas Jonsson, Bishop of the Church of  Sweden and Rev. Kjell
Jonasson, Church of Sweden ( 

Rev. Canon Dr Trond Bakkevig, Church of Norway ( 

Archbishop Jukka Parma, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland ( 

Bischop Karsten Nissen, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark 

Dr. Alison Elliot, Church of Scotland and Churches Together in Scotland
(ACTS) ( ) 

Rev Arie W. van der Plas, Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and Uniting
Protestant Churches in the Netherlands ( )

Archbishop Feofan, Russian Orthodox Church, archbishop of  Berlin and Germany


Bishop Athanasius of Achaja, Church of Greece) ( 

Rev. Dr. Nuhad Daoud Tomeh, representing the General Secretariat of the
Middle East Council of Churches  ( 

Dr. Bob Edgar, general secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ in
the USA ( 

James Winkler, general secretary, General Board of Church and Society of the
United Methodist Church, USA ( 

Dr. Rebecca Larson, executive director, Division for Church and Society,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, USA (

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office,  
tel: +41 (0)22 791 64 21 / (41 22) 791 61 53


The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which
meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in
1948 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary
Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.

World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346

PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

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