Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 11, 2004
The Church in Canada must say no to violence
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Violence in the world comes in many forms, including through indifference to poverty, says the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
"Indifference to poverty is the moral equivalent of mass destruction," said Kobia, guest preacher Oct. 3 - Worldwide Communion Sunday - at an ecumenical service in Southminster United Church in Ottawa, marking the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC).
Ordained as a Methodist minister in Kenya, Kobia became general secretary of the WCC at the beginning of 2004. His first official visit to Canada from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 included public lectures in Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa.
In his talk in Ottawa, Kobia, 57, said the task of the Church in Canada - as elsewhere - is to become "a community that will insist that at whatever cost we bear, it will say no to violence."
Destruction of nature
He also decried "the destruction of nature through policies based on greed," and said churches need to call on governments to "embrace" responsibility for the environment. The Kyoto Protocol, "is the best we have in dealing with climate change," Kobia said.
"We must speak that truth to the powers that be today."
As well, the WCC general secretary called for Christians to cooperate with Jews and Muslims to help bring an end to violence throughout the world.
"Memories of war and genocide echo in every corner of the world," he said. "Generations have been mutilated and abased."
The churches in Canada and elsewhere are challenged to "transform" the world in love, said Kobia.
The WCC was founded in 1948 and is currently a fellowship of 342 churches in more than 120 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC.
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