New interactive website for the Decade to Overcome Violence now on line

Dec 11, 2002 07:06 AM EST

Coinciding with International Human Rights Day, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has today opened a new interactive version of its "Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010): Churches seeking Reconciliation and Peace" website. Its address is:

The new website is designed to create and strengthen networking by churches, organizations and individuals committed to the search for peace, justice and reconciliation.

In the words of Decade coordinator Hansulrich Gerber: "When violence and threats of war are rising up ominously around us, an initiative like this, which aims at strengthening organizations and individuals committed to peace and reconciliation, is a sign of hope."

The website, available in four languages (English, French, German, and Spanish), is designed as a tool to enable churches, organizations and individuals committed to the aims of the Decade to make contact and establish relations with one another by sharing resources and experiences, notices of events and information on what they are doing.

Those logging on to the website can play an active role by sharing with others their efforts to overcome violence and making them widely known. At the same time, they can easily obtain any information they require via the website's new thematic structure and its search-by-category function.

"It's a new way of working in that it provides an open forum," declares WCC senior web editor Olivier Schopfer, "and the challenge for us and for everyone committed to the Decade is to make it a lively, dynamic instrument."

The website also contains resources produced by the WCC itself, such as a new study guide on the four main Decade themes, ideas on how to participate in the Decade in local communities, a listing of regional and national coordinators, together with e-mail discussion groups and visual resources.

The Decade to Overcome Violence is the WCC's response to the mandate of its eighth assembly in Harare in 1998 "to work strategically with the churches... to create a culture of peace".

The Decade was launched internationally in February 2001 and, by bringing together already- existing initiatives, it provides a forum for sharing experiences and building relationships of mutual support and learning, while at the same time encouraging and inspiring churches, organizations and individuals to commit actively to the search for justice, reconciliation and peace.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office, tel: +41 (0)22 791 64 21

By WCC Press Release