The members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee have sent a pastoral message to the churches in Syria extending solidarity as they face enormous challenges due to the ongoing violence in the country.
The message comes at a time when the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. The situation was discussed in a meeting at the WCC headquarters in Geneva in late December 2011, in which some twenty Syrian church leaders from various Christian traditions in Syria participated.
The message was crafted by the Executive Committee during their meetings last week from 14 to 18 February in Bossey, Switzerland. In the message they expressed hope for an end to violence and a national dialogue to emerge from the conflict, based on peace with justice, recognition of human rights and human dignity and the need to live together in mutual respect.
The message also strongly supported a joint letter from the three heads of churches in Syria sent out to congregations in the country in December. In the letter they condemned “the use of any type of violence” while encouraging their members “not to fear and not to lose hope”.
It also called on WCC member churches to “engage in concrete actions of solidarity” during this time of difficulties. Quoting the WCC constitution the message read “as a fellowship of churches we are to express the common concern of the churches in the service of human need, the breaking down of barriers between people and the promotion of one human family in justice and peace”.