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Ethiopian church leader calls for peace

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://tinyurl.com/grx9l Assyrian International News Agency Ethiopian church leader calls for peace 06/30/2006 As President of the World Council of Churches,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2006
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      Assyrian International News Agency

      Ethiopian church leader calls for peace

      06/30/2006
      "As President of the World Council of Churches, I call upon the people of
      faith in Ethiopian and Eritrea to work with the political leaders to
      accelerate the coming of lasting peace," Patriarch Abune Paulos said.

      The leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, recently elected as the head
      of the World Council of Churches (WCC), on Friday appealed to Ethiopians
      and Eritreans to push for lasting peace between them.

      "As President of the World Council of Churches, I call upon the people of
      faith in Ethiopian and Eritrea to work with the political leaders to
      accelerate the coming of lasting peace," Patriarch Abune Paulos told a news
      conference.

      Analysts said Ethiopia and Eritrea are likely to take his calls seriously
      because many people in both countries follow the Orthodox Church. Previous
      efforts by the church to resolve the conflict have stuttered but Abune
      Paulos said he would use his new role as a world church leader to inject
      fresh vigour in pushing for dialogue between the two countries.

      Neighbours Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war in 1999-2000 that cost
      70,000 lives and efforts to find a lasting peaceful solution have not been
      successful.

      Patriarch Paulos also urged the people of Somalia to resolve their
      differences through dialogue rather than conflict. "There is no single
      problem that has been resolved in the world other than through peaceful
      dialogue and the exchange of ideas," Abune Paulos said.

      Patriarch Paulos said he was ready to take a greater role in resolving
      conflicts all over the world and urged African leaders to work towards good
      governance and poverty alleviation. "Unless economic justice and good
      governance prevail, and there is an end to the unequal distribution of
      wealth ... it would be difficult to speak of peace in our continent," he said.

      He rejected the use of condoms to fight HIV /AIDS, saying it would not be
      permitted under the ethics of the 3,000 year-old Orthodox church. "The
      first rule of our church is that people should remain virgins until they
      reach the age of adolescence," he said. "After that they should get married
      and remain faithful and loyal to each other until death. There is no other way."
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