World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Update
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14 October 1999

CONFIRMATION THAT
REV. FRANCISCO DE VASCONCELOS IS ALIVE

cf. WCC Press Update of 14 September 1999

According to the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), the Rev. Francisco de Vasconcelos is alive. On 14 September, the World Council of Churches (WCC) reported that Rev. de Vasconcelos had been killed in an ambush as he was travelling from Dili to Baucau.

PGI general secretary Dr Joseph Pattiasina confirms that on 8 October he spoke with de Vasconcelos by telephone.

The WCC team on International Relations states that similar reports concerning the killing of several Roman Catholic priests have been widely circulated. According to the Geneva-based teamís Ecumenical Advocacy Update on Indonesia released on 12 October, "news received here in the recent days from Catholic sources ... [indicate] that some of those thought dead in fact have survived. Rev. de Vasconcelos and others who escaped killings continue, nonetheless, to work in the midst of a situation in parts of East Timor which continues to remain tense with fear and apprehension of possible outbreaks of violence. Their personal circumstances remain precarious. Around 70% of GKTT [Christian Church of East Timor] congregations are now in West Timor including around 27 pastors, leaving only 4 pastors in East Timor at the moment, according to our information."

The "Ecumenical Advocacy Update on Indonesia" can be found on the WCC web site: http://wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/international/advocacyupdate.html


For more information contact:
For more information see the "Ecumenical Advocacy Update on Indonesia" dated 12 October or contact WCC Media Relations, Tel. (+41 22) 791 61 53
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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.