Churches in Cyprus share aspirations of unityWritten by World Council of Churches
November 27, 2014
The spiritual head of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, welcomed members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee at his office in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 25 November. The meeting acknowledged contributions from the Church of Cyprus to the ecumenical movement, as well as the aspiration of churches to see a united island, partitioned as result of the Turkish invasion in 1974.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II shared that relations between religious leaders from Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities were positive, reiterating that the reasons behind the partition of the island were not religious. “The perception of the problem being religious and a clash between Christians and Muslims is not correct. I would like to make it clear that religion has never been, never was and never will be a problem in Cyprus.”
Archbishop Chrysostomos II added that the wishes of the people who want reunification of the island have been communicated to the high governmental authorities. He said, “We hope there will be a day when we will live together in peace, sharing joy, enjoying festivals and religious events of both Christian and Muslim communities in a united island as before.”
At the meeting, WCC Central Committee moderator Dr Agnes Abuom, appreciated the contributions from the Church of Cyprus to the ecumenical movement. She commended their efforts to work for the unification of Cyprus. “Since our vision at the WCC is to promote a pilgrimage of justice and peace, your country becomes a beacon of hope in this pilgrimage, as you are seeking peace, reconciliation and love between the communities,” Abuom said.
“We have seen Christians and other religious leaders’ commitment to the dialogue of life. This is one way of reminding people to build their dreams of a united, peaceful, prosperous Cyprus, even if this dream is accompanied by the memories of pain,” she said.
“It is our hope and prayer that the vision of the churches and religious communities in Cyprus for peace and unity is realized,” Abuom added.
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