World Council of Churches Office of Communication
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3 March 2000

WCC Executive Committee: continuing concern for Indonesia and Cyprus

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) today adopted two minutes to lift up the WCCís continuing concern about the situations in Indonesia and Cyprus.

In its minute on Indonesia, the WCC Executive Committee appeals to member churches to offer generous assistance to the victims of violence and to support the rebuilding of their communities and places of worship. It calls upon Muslim and Christian leaders in Indonesia to "redouble their efforts to mediate in this dispute and to restore harmonious inter-communal relations".

Addressing the Christian as well as the Muslim communities, the WCC governing body recalls the model of tolerance Indonesia once provided by respecting the cultural diversity and the religious pluralism of its people. The Executive Committee expressed its "deep compassion" with the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) and with the Christians in the Moluccas, mourning with them "the deaths of so many of their fellow Christians". It also shared with the Muslim community of Indonesia its "sorrow at the suffering it has undergone, including the loss of many lives".

WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, will visit Indonesia 17-25 March.

Based on a report of an ecumenical delegation to the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island in October last year, the Executive Committee requested WCC staff and member churches "to continue to monitor closely developments in Cyprus and to encourage the Church of Cyprus and all members of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot civil society in their efforts for justice, peace and reconciliation.

The Committee also expressed its support "for the UN Secretary-Generalís effort to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem", and warmly welcomed "the resumption of UN-led proximity talks on Cyprus".

The WCC Executive Committee met in Bossey, near Geneva, 29 February - 3 March.

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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, 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, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.