From the Worldwide Faith News archives

WCC NEWS Kobia praises Germany's role in promoting peace,

From "WCC Media" <>
Date Thu, 01 Jul 2004 17:16:12 +0200

World Council of Churches - News Update  01/07/04
For immediate release.

			      Cf: WCC Press Release PR-04-10 of 23 June 2004 


Germany could lead efforts to achieve the "global ideals" of "peace, justice
and ecological protection" said Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia today at a reception
attended by prominent German political, civic and church leaders in Berlin. 

Speaking at the Evangelical Church in Germany's annual St John's reception,
the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed his
appreciation for the pioneering work done on globalization by the German
parliament. This work has "revealed the asymetrical nature of our world
today," Kobia said. 

Highlighting the active engagement of German churches in the ecumenical
search for justice, peace and the integrity of creation, Kobia affirmed his
hope that Germany "will develop strong impulses for just peace in the
conflict-torn regions, for sustainable use of resources and renewable
energies, and for reconciliation of wounded memories and enmity." 

Calling it "an affront to the ecumenical vision of a united humanity", Kobia
stated that "the process of globalization driven by the neo-liberal economic
paradigm has created a global inequality and inequity" in which 20% of the
world's population owns 83% of the global resources. "Our challenge today is
to search for alternatives" to a world "of increasing inequality and
violence" and "to nurture an economy that works in the service of life and
does not contribute to its destruction," he stressed. 

The WCC general secretary also highlighted the need for "inter-religious
dialogue and co-operation" in the face of "growing xenophobia", including "an
evolving enemy-image that makes a caricature of our Muslim friends", and the
"blatant misuse of religion in the mobilization of war". It is urgent, he
said, "to nurture non-violent action for change and to work for peace and
reconciliation" against the backdrop of "justification for war and even
brutal torture" that harms the humanness of both the victims and the

Kobia attended the St John's reception during a visit to the Evangelical
Church in Germany (EKD) - his first as WCC general secretary to member
churches in Europe. The visit, he said,  signified the "strong relationship
between WCC and German churches," and his intention to deepen that

Before the reception, Kobia met with the president of the EKD Council Bishop
Dr Wolfgang Huber and other senior representatives of the church. The newly
elected German president Horst Koehler was also present at the reception.

For more information contact:
Media Relations Office: tel: (+41 22) 791 6421 /  6153 - 

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, 
in more than 120 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, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by
general secretary Samuel Kobia from the Methodist church in Kenya.

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