number 2, december 5, 1998

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Moderator: affirm human rights, teach one community

The moderator of the World Council of Churches’ central committee issued a strong affirmation of human rights yesterday and said violators of those rights "must be held accountable to humanity".

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Celicia (Armenian Orthodox Church), expressed a vision of a better world if the WCC’s member churches help diverse ethnic and religious groups learn "to live together as one community" and if ecumenical leadership takes advantage of today’s "committed and visionary young people."

Aram deplored the fact that many individuals and nations that commit acts of genocide, war crimes and injustice are not called to justice. "The popular saying, ‘you can run but you cannot hide,’ is being turned on its head," he said.

Delegates and visitors applauded as he called for the prosecution of human rights violators. "There is a crying need to bring to justice and to make accountable those responsible for policies leading to violations of the rights and dignity of women and children, communities and nations," he said.

Member churches could help create a healthier environment for human rights by working together with other faiths to "seek a global ethics based on shared ethical values that transcend religious beliefs and narrow definitions of national interests."

The 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December will be commemorated by the assembly.

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Related documents & articles:

Moderator's Report

Read other articles in this issue:

Assembly theme, carved and examined
Moderator: affirm human rights, teach one community
WCC-Orthodox relations 'critical'
Assembly theme turned to sexuality
Pluses and minuses of council finances

8th Assembly and 50th Anniversary

copyright 1998 World Council of Churches. Remarks to webeditor