Minute on Kosovo from the World Council of Churches

Minute on Kosovo from the World Council of Churches

The central committee of the World Council of Churches adopted the following minute on Kosovo:

1. Deliberation by the international community on the future status of Kosovo is presently underway and expected to near completion by the year’s end 2006. Kosovo cannot continue to survive in a state of indetermination. The realization of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Kosovo must begin, realistically, with peaceful co-existence.

2. All those who call Kosovo their home must be permitted to return, regain rightful residence, and all must learn, again, to live side-by-side in peace and in harmony as good neighbours. Then, once familiar and comfortable with each other’s presence, they must begin integrating into all phases of life, especially in cities, which at present are almost entirely mono-ethnic and mono-religious. This will serve to define the beginnings of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

3. On this basis the international community can implement a sustained effort toward an enduring and just peace, while securing freedom and tolerance in a truly multi-ethnic and multi-religious Kosovo.

4. To that end, we support the leaders and senior representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Evangelical Church and the Jewish Community gathered on 2-3 May 2006 at the historical Pec Patriarchate Monastery for an Interfaith Conference on Peaceful Coexistence and Dialogue. The Conference was held at the initiative of religious representatives in Kosovo, hosted by the Serbian Orthodox Church, organized and sponsored by Norwegian Church Aid, and accompanied and co-moderated by the World Conference of Religion and Peace.

5. Therefore, given this background, the World Council of Churches central committee meeting in Geneva between 30 August and 6 September 2006:

  1. Encourages the religious leaders of Kosovo to continue to work for reconciliation in order to foster healing and harmonious relations in a society that has been torn asunder by violence, hatred and conflict; and to ask all relevant authorities to support efforts for reconciliation and;

  2. Commits the WCC in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches (CEC) to continue to monitor the situation on the maintaining of human rights and religious freedom, particularly of religious minorities, and the preservation of cultural and religious patrimonial heritage in Kosovo, and in this connection keep member churches informed of developments and express support for reconciliation.