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

2 July 1999


cf. WCC Press Release of 11 June 1999
cf. WCC Press Update of 24 June 1999
Recent WCC photos from Kosovo

An ecumenical delegation currently visiting Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, will return on Monday, 5 July. The visit has been jointly organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in consultation with the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in Belgrade, the WCC member church in the region. WCC Church and Ecumenical Relations team executive secretary Huibert van Beek hopes that the visit will serve "to strengthen first-hand contacts with the churches in the region".

The delegation is gathering information on the present situation in Kosovo, with a special focus on the security and rights of all peoples in the region, the nature of the planned civil administration, as well as future long-term ecumenical action.

The ecumenical delegation is planning to meet, amongst others, with Christian and Muslim representatives in Pristina, with representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic church in Prizren, and with Serbian Orthodox representatives in Pec. It hopes to visit the Serbian Orthodox Decani Monastery; contacts with representatives of international organizations in Kosovo, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are also planned.

The delegation will discuss ecumenical humanitarian work in Kosovo with members of the WCC/Action by Churches Together (ACT) assessment team, currently in Pristina.

Members of the delegation are:
- Mr. Huibert van Beek, WCC team "Church and Ecumenical Relations"
- Ms. Penny Deligiannis, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania - Ms. Linda Hartke, Church World Service and Witness, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA

- Mr. Saso Klekovski, Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation
- Mr. Artan Kosti, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania
- Mr. Rüdiger Noll, CEC
- Mr. Klaus Wilkens, Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)

The members of the delegation will be available to talk with journalists on their return.

For more information contact:
Karin Achtelstetter, Media Relations Officer
tel.: (+41 22) 791 6153 (office);
e-mail: media
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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 336, 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.