[excerpts] From: News News NEWS@ELCA.ORG
The WCC central committee, meeting Jan. 29-Feb. 6 in Potsdam, Germany, celebrated the start of the decade with a pledge "to work together to end violence and build lasting peace with justice." The ELCA is a member of the WCC.
Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta admitted the goals of the Decade to Overcome Violence may be a dream but went on to say that some dreams have become reality. One dream was the unification of Germany through the peaceful takedown of the Berlin Wall, he said.
Ramos-Horta said he was "overwhelmed" watching representatives of North and South Korea march together under one flag at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
"It's possible, 10 years from now, we will have overcome violence," Ramos-Horta said, adding it will take the efforts of many groups, including the WCC and its related organizations, non-governmental organizations and student organizations.
Ramos-Horta, a Roman Catholic layman, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his efforts to bring about an end to the conflict between Indonesia and East Timor. ...
In 1998, at the request of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to proclaim 2001-2010 as the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World."
The 1999 ELCA Churchwide Assembly supported that action with a resolution urging ELCA congregations, "church-related schools, institutions and agencies to teach, practice and model nonviolence -- both for their own members and in service to their communities -- making use of available resources on nonviolence."
The resolution encouraged the church "to address the growing threats to the safety and peace of people everywhere (e.g., war, civil strife, school and community violence)."
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of 342 member churches in more than 100 countries on all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. WCC staff is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
-- -- -- Documents and background on the ELCA's involvement in the Decade to Overcome Violence are available at http://www.elca.org/co/decade.html on the Web.
The World Council of Churches maintains information about the Decade at http://wcc-coe.org/wcc/dov/index-e.html on its Web site.
[*Philip E. Jenks is communications officer for the U.S. Office of the World Council of Churches, New York.]
For information contact: John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG http://listserv.elca.org/archives/elcanews.html
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"In East Timor the church completely understood why people took up arms, even though they [the church] kept calling on them not to use those arms," Jose Ramos-Horta