PARIS (Reuters) – The World Council of Churches (WCC) urged its Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican member churches on Thursday to lobby their congregations and national governments to support a political solution to the war in Syria.
The Geneva-based WCC made the appeal after a meeting with international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who both asked Christian leaders to help mobilize public opinion for peace.
The appeal by the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church — which makes up over half of global Christianity — and many evangelical leaders.
“Churches must continue to raise their voice in their congregations and with their governments,” said a WCC communique after the meeting near Geneva on Wednesday.
“We must strengthen the public outcry so that those in power will protect the common interest of humanity.”
WCC General Secretary Rev Olaf Fyske Tveit told Reuters there was “consensus in the whole Christian family” for a negotiated peace in Syria and Brahimi and Annan convinced church leaders it could happen “if there is enough political support.”
He noted that even many United States evangelicals, who mostly backed earlier U.S. military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, had spoken out against military strikes in Syria after a poison gas attack outside Damascus killed hundreds of people.