Easter 2014: Opportunity for Christian unity and common witnessWritten by the World Council of Churches
April 15, 2014
[Photo: Palm Sunday at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Damascus, 2008. © Annegret Kapp/WCC]
In his Easter reflections, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called this year an “opportunity for shared testimony to the Resurrection” since churches from both eastern and western traditions of Christianity will celebrate Easter on the same day, Sunday 20 April.
“It is something that ought to happen every year, for the sake of Christian unity and common witness in the world,” said Tveit.
Tveit invited the churches to “press on with greater determination in seeking a way forward to the recognition of a common date for this festival.” He reminded them of the consultation in Aleppo, Syria in 1997, which warned that “by celebrating this feast of feasts on different days, the churches give a divided witness to this fundamental aspect of the apostolic faith, compromising their credibility and effectiveness in bringing the Gospel to the world.”
Offering prayers for people everywhere, Tveit particularly mentioned Syria and the Middle East, regions suffering from devastations of natural and human origins, and prayers for ending the violence in Ukraine, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
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