Church group urges end to 'occupation'

World Council of Churches plans to create int'l forum for Middle East peace.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
A Geneva-based church body said Monday it would launch a global initiative to have churches worldwide rally for an end to Israel's "occupation" of Arab lands seized in the Six Day War. The World Council of Churches said in a statement that it designated Jordan as a venue for its initiative, which would enlist support from ecclesiastical institutions worldwide. "The initiative aims at calling on all churches to work seriously for putting an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands," the statement said. Founded in 1948, the World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity. It groups 347 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing over 560 million Christians in more than 110 countries. The group's call came during the opening of a three-day meeting gathering 130 member churches and related organizations from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. Rev. Samuel Kobia of Kenya, the council's secretary-general, said the meeting also planned to create an international forum for peace in the Middle East, mainly in the Palestinian Authority. He did not elaborate on what this forum would do. Kobia said the meetings in Jordan aimed at seeing clergymen share lessons learned from conflicts in their countries, especially South Africa, Sudan, Columbia and Sri Lanka. He said the clergymen would also assess how they can assist in providing solutions, primarily to political and social crisis.