From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Title: US focus for next year DOV

From "WCC Media" <>
Date Fri, 29 Aug 2003 16:20:08 +0200

World Council of Churches
Press Release 03-29.09e
For Immediate Use
29 August 2003


US focus next year for WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence   

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee has designated the
United States as its 2004 focus during the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV)

According to Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian
Church (USA), "If ever there was a part of the world where work for peace is
important, it is the USA."   

In its report to the Central Committee, the Programme Committee acknowledges
the opposition of US churches to war in Iraq, and their work in alleviating
suffering at home and abroad.  

However, it notes that because of the unchallenged power of the USA, "The US
administration seems to see itself in a position where it can afford to
disregard the international order, refuse to be accountable to the UN, and
ignore the concerns of the world's populations."   

It also notes problems of "poverty, violence, racism in all its diverse
forms, inter-faith relations, migration and inequality in education and

"We live in a nation where the cause of peace needs a much greater emphasis,"
Kirkpatrick commented.	

The DOV's US focus will aim at strengthening and resourcing churches and
movements working for peace in the USA, encouraging a commitment to mutual
accountability, and deepening the churches' understanding of issues such as
power, militarism, and community-building.  

"The WCC set a broad framework," said Rev. Dr Fernando Enns of the Mennonite
Church in Germany. "Churches and agencies have to decide themselves how to
deal with issues; everyone has to decide where the violence is in their
context. Then we have to bring it back into the fellowship of churches and
share it here.	

"Having this decade gives visibility to work which has been going on in
churches for years."   

The DOV focus in 2005 will be Asia, and in 2006 Latin America.	 

Information on the Decade to Overcome Violence is available on our website

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


The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 341, 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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