The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, visited member churches in Europe for the first time since his inauguration, marking what he called “strong relationship between WCC and German churches,” on July 1, 2004.
As part of the mid-year visit Kobia delivered a message of reconciliation and unity at a reception attended by German leaders in civic, political and religious fields, in Berlin.
"The process of globalization driven by the neo-liberal economic paradigm has created a global inequality and inequity" in which 20% of the world's population owns 83% of the global resources. "Our challenge today is to search for alternatives [to a world] of increasing inequality and violence [and] to nurture an economy that works in the service of life and does not contribute to its destruction,” said Kobia, noting the tragic effects of globalization.
Kobia also “expressed his appreciation for the pioneering work done on globalization by the German parliament,” according to a WCC press release.
This work has "revealed the asymetrical nature of our world today," Kobia said.
At that end, Kobia urged the leaders to continue developing “strong impulses for just peace in the conflict-torn regions, for sustainable use of resources and renewable energies” and to reconcile “wounded memories and enmity” among nations.
In addition, Kobia said peace and reconciliation would only come after “inter-religious dialogue and cooperation” is established.
Prior to the reception, Kobia met with the president of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Dr Wolfgang Huber, and other senior representatives of the church.