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WCC UPDATE: Violence & spirituality - Kobia in US

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  • Fr John Brian
    World Council of Churches - Update Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 media@wcc-coe.org For immediate release - 01/11/2005 OVERCOMING VIOLENCE IS AN
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2005
      World Council of Churches - Update
      Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 media@...
      For immediate release - 01/11/2005


      See WCC press release PR-05-65 of 19 October 2005

      "Violence does not recognize differences between Protestant, Catholic,
      Orthodox or Pentecostal. Violence is our common plague, and non-violent
      love, peace, justice and reconciliation are our common calling," Rev. Dr
      Samuel Kobia told participants in a 27-29 October international conference
      in Boston, USA.

      Sponsored by the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in cooperation
      with the WCC and the Boston Theological Institute, the conference focused on
      "Violence and Christian spirituality".

      Setting out reasons why overcoming violence is "an eminently ecumenical
      task," the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary observed that
      the Council's goal in declaring the 2001-2010 Decade to Overcome Violence"
      (DOV) has been "not so much to eradicate violence as to overcome the spirit,
      the logic and the practice of violence by actively seeking reconciliation
      and peace".

      Referring to various faces of violence, from global terrorism and the war on
      terrorism, political conflict and war to interpersonal and domestic
      violence, Kobia went on to focus on resources for peace.

      One such resource is inter-religious dialogue, Kobia said. He cautioned,
      however, that "Dialogue is not and can never serve as an ambulance in a
      sudden crisis or conflict. It is more like a prophylactic medicine, which
      when often and regularly used, will sustain health even in difficult

      For Kobia, an equally powerful resource for peace is a spirituality that
      "inspires and shapes our individual and joint actions". Believing "that
      prayer and contemplation together form the foremost discipline for
      overcoming violence," he emphasized that "the Orthodox traditions have much
      to offer" in this area.

      "There is the deeply rooted and long-standing vision in Orthodox faith and
      life for a spirituality of holistic peace, integrating creation, human life
      and the Trinity, working together for salvation and reconciliation," Kobia

      The full text of Samuel Kobia's speech is available on the Decade to
      Overcome Violence website at:

      This material may be reprinted freely.

      Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
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