Saturday, September 22, 2007

WCC NEWS: WCC executive committee to meet in Armenia

From the Worldwide Faith News archives
From "WCC Media"
Date Fri, 21 Sep 2007 16:41:45 +0200
Worldwide Faith News (press release), NY

World Council of Churches - News Release

Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 For immediate release - 21/09/2007 12:46:37 PM


An exposure visit hosted by the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Etchmiadzin), which includes a commemoration at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex near the capital city of Yerevan, will precede the 25-28 September meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee taking place in Etchmiadzin, Armenia. The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia will visit the Etchmiadzin see of the Armenian Apostolic Church from 21-24 September. He will meet the Catholicos of All Armenians, Supreme Patriarch Karekin II, and representatives of partner ecumenical organizations in the country. Visits to St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan, where he will attend the divine liturgy (worship service), as well as to other churches and monasteries, a seminary and a youth centre are also on the schedule.

The WCC central committee moderator, Rev. Dr Walter Altmann will join the visit on Saturday, 22 September.More members of the WCC executive committee will be joining on Sunday, 23 September. On Tuesday, 25 September the WCC representatives will visit the Tsisernakaberd Genocide Memorial to express solidarity with the victims, churches and people of Armenia. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams - also currently visiting Armenia - has announced his participation at this event, too.

During its meeting, the WCC executive committee will consider public statements regarding the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto protocol, the situation in Iraq as well as the relationships between Iran and the US. The agenda of the upcoming meeting of the WCC central committee - which is to take place in Geneva from 13-20 February 2008 - will be discussed, as well as issues of membership, finances, programmes and an evaluation of the Council's governing bodies work. A report on the ongoing discussions regarding an "expanded assembly" will also be on the committee's agenda, as well as a report on the participation of churches in development and advocacy work.

The WCC has in many opportunities advocated for public recognition of the tragic massacre of one-and-a-half million Armenians in Turkey and the deportation of another million from their homeland between 1915 and 1917. The most recent occasion was in February 2005, when the WCC central committee recommended to the Council member churches to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in April that year.

In its recommendation, the WCC governing body stressed "the need for public recognition of the Armenian genocide and the necessity of Turkey to deal with this dark part of its history". From a Christian perspective, "the path towards justice and reconciliation requires the recognition of the crime committed as a sine qua noncondition for the healing of memories and the possibility of forgiveness", the committee stated.

Media contact in Armenia:

Father Hovakim +374-91-21-4942

Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Etchmiadzin):

Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute:

Additional information:Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507

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The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 347 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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