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war on terror will never be won
in a world of poverty and ignorance
Nairobi, January 23, 2007 (WCC News) – The war on terror will "never" be won "as long as there are conditions in the world that make people desperate," like dehumanizing poverty, disease and ignorance, Nobel laureate and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu told ecumenical participants at the start of the 2007 World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi.
"God is weeping," Tutu told the ecumenical gathering at Nairobi's Holy Family Roman Catholic Basilica, at the sight of the awful things happening in the world today.
"God weeps and says: 'Who will help me so we can have a different kind of world, one in which the rich know they have been given much so they can share and help others?'" A creation that was very good has "turned into a nightmare".
Presiding at the event along with Tutu were His Holiness Abune Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and Archbishop Zaccheaus Okoth, president of the East Region of Caritas Africa. Kenyan Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai also participated in the 20 January ceremony.
Tutu emphasized that the "fundamental law of our being" is that "we are bound to one another". Because of that, "the only way we can make it is together, all of us". Only together can we be free, safe and secure. According to Tutu, this rule applies also to politics. "Not even the only superpower can be totally self-sufficient; it needs other nations."
As the WSF takes place for the first time in Africa, Tutu called Africans to be proud of their legacy. "We are not God's stepchildren," he said, recalling that it was an African who helped Jesus to carry his cross, and as Africans were also the first doctors of the early church. He mentioned overcoming slavery, colonialism and apartheid among African accomplishments.
After the prayers guided by Archbishop Okoth and the blessing of Patriarch Paulos, the participants went in procession to the All Saints Anglican Cathedral, where a second part of the ceremony took place before participants joined the official opening of the WSF at Nairobi's Uhuru Park.
Members of the 2007 global ecumenical coalition at the WSF include the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), APRODEV, Brazil Ecumenical Forum, Caritas Internationalis, International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), Frontier Internship in Mission, Koinonia, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Pax Romana, World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), World Council of Churches, World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), the YWCA and YMCA.
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
Photos of ecumenical participation in the 2007 WSF are available on the WCC website at: http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?id=2985
Additional information: Juan Michel, +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 firstname.lastname@example.org
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