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

28 November 2001

WCC meeting to analyze consequences of September 11

cf. WCC Press Update, Up-01-34, of 2 October 2001
cf. WCC Press Release, PR-01-37, of 5 October 2001

The global implications of the attacks of September 11 and the military campaign in Afghanistan are the focus of a World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 29 November - 1 December meeting brings some 20 representatives of churches in various regions to reflect with WCC staff on the possible consequences of the September 11 attacks and subsequent military retaliation. Their collective analysis will be shared with a broad church constituency and the wider international community.

The meeting will look at what these events could mean

  • for religions, particularly Christian-Muslim relations, minority religions, new fundamentalisms, and the use of religion in conflict situations;
  • for security and global governance, including the United Nations, relations between regional and global bodies, and changing concepts of security;
  • for economy and globalization, including possible increased military spending, changes in corporate and international financial institutions strategy and modes of operation;
  • for humanitarian and human rights issues, including the interplay between military action and humanitarian response, the movement of and restrictions on uprooted people, and for xenophobia and racism.

    "While most of the world's attention is on the military action and the humanitarian emergency, the issues raised by the current crisis are much more far-reaching, and are too important to leave just to the political leaders. The churches have an important role to play in the policy debates in their own countries and at the global level," explains Rev. Dwain Epps, coordinator of International Relations for the WCC.

    The Geneva meeting is part of a broader WCC response that includes a visit by an international ecumenical delegation to the US churches earlier this month, and a 16-22 December inter-faith meeting in Cairo.

    List of Participants

    Dr Agnes Abuom, Anglican Church of Kenya
    Executive director, Research & Development Consultants - TAABCO
    WCC Africa president

    Mr Wim Dierckxsens, Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones / DEI , Costa Rica

    Prof. Rudolf El Kareh, Relations with Europe, Middle East and the Arab World
    International Consultant, Lebanon/France

    Dr Alison Janet Elliot, Church of Scotland
    Member of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

    Rev. Eberhard Hitzler, Development Policy Desk
    Protestant Church in Germany - EKD

    Mr Victor Hsu, senior advisor, Church World Service and Witness
    National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA

    Dr John Langmore, director, Division for Social Policy and Development/DESA/UN
    United Nations - New York
    Member of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC/CCIA)

    Dr Patricia Lewis, director, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

    Mr Senituli Lopeti, director, Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement
    Member of WCC/CCIA

    Ms Aida Jean N. Manipon, coordinator, Asia Regional Exchange for New Alternatives - ARENA
    Hong Kong

    Dr Soritua Nababan, Indonesia
    Former WCC president

    Rev. Dr Bernice Powell-Jackson, executive minister, Justice & Witness Ministries,
    United Church of Christ, USA
    WCC Central Committee member

    Rev. Dr Mitri Raheb, general director, International Centre of Bethlehem, Palestine

    Dr Bertrand Ramcharan, deputy high commissioner for Human Rights
    UN Office Geneva-OHCHR

    Dr Pablo Richard, director, Departamento Ecumenico de Investigaciones / DEI
    Costa Rica

    Bishop Manower Rumalshah, general secretary, USPG
    Pakistan/United Kingdom

    Rt Rev. Michael Kehinde Stephen, bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria
    WCC Central Committee member

    Rev. Peggy Orr Thomas, coordinator for Interfaith Relations, Presbyterian Church (USA)

    Mr Stein Villumstadt, associate general secretary, Norwegian Church Aid

    Mr Peter Weiderud, director general for International Affairs, Church of Sweden Mission/Aid

    Ms Glenda Wildschut, director, Desmond Tutu Leadership Academy, South Africa
    Member of WCC/CCIA

    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.