World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Release
150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
E-mail: media

5 October 2001

Ecumenical organizations join forces to lift up churches' voices in response to current global events

In response to the global situation after the September 11 attacks in the United States, the World Council of Churches (WCC), Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) have agreed to set up a short-term crisis response mechanism to share information with their broad church constituency.

Through an (English-only) electronic bulletin and a website, Behind the news: Visions for Peace - Voices of Faith, they will offer a selection of church statements and actions; information on the responses and actions of other religions and interreligious organizations; updates on humanitarian concerns, particularly on the situation of refugees; analysis and reflection; and study and worship resources to help churches to respond to the unfolding situation.

"This effort is intended to help to discern and interpret the signs of the times from perspectives different than the dominant discourse, in particular from the perspective of churches, ecumenical and interfaith partners," explains Elizabeth Ferris from the WCC International Relations team. "We want to nurture hope and strengthen commitment for peace and justice. We want to give voice to those who suffer most and help them to cope in these times of crisis," says Ferris, who is also moderating a crisis response group set up by the three organizations. Further objectives , she says, are "to provide solid analysis and selected resources to strengthen ecumenical action as well as study, and to propose common ecumenical actions".

Similar response mechanisms to other crises may be considered in the future. In announcing the collaborative effort to their networks, acting WCC general secretary Georges Lemopoulos, ACT director Thor-Arne Prois, and EAA coordinator Linda Hartke, explained that "Given the urgency - and the uncertainty - of global developments, we seek to provide the best possible resources to our constituencies to enable that visions of peace and voices of faith are heard at such a time as this."

  • Behind the news: Visions for peace - voices of faith

  • Discussion board to share and request resources, reflections, actions

  • To receive the bulletin via e-mail, contact WCC Contact

    The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) is a global action network of churches and church-related organizations who have pledged themselves to change unjust policies and practices related to global trade and HIV/AIDS.

    Action by Churches Together (ACT) is an international alliance of churches and relief agencies assisting thousands of people recovering from emergencies in more than 50 countries worldwide.

    For more information contact:
    the Media Relations Office
    tel.: (+41 22) 791 6153 (office);
    e-mail: media
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    The World Council of Churches 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, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.