Dear Sisters and Brothers in the CCA Member Churches and Councils:
We, Members of the General Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia, write to you from our second meeting in Chiang Mai, this 7th to 9th of March 2011, to affirm the mandate, recommendations and the proposed programs coming from the 13th CCA Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur in April 2010.
We listened to stories from communities suffering from the impact of emergencies, the violation of people’s rights, freedom of expression and the practice of religion, along with poverty, lack of access to employment and other provisions necessary for decent living for people created in God’s image.
We continue to discern God’s leading as we hear people’s cries and are challenged by the need to accompany them and our Member Churches and Councils as we minister together in our region of Asia.
In this meeting of the CCA General Committee, we have listened and reflected on urgent ecumenical issues and challenges before us –
- We would like to see CCA continue to strengthen the capacity of its members to respond appropriately and in a timely manner to emergencies experienced by Member Churches and Councils in Asia. We heard and prayed for the victims of the recent earthquake that shook Christchurch in Aotearoa New Zealand, taking the lives of more than 160 people and causing massive destruction to homes and public infrastructures. We offer solidarity and prayers to the victims communities as they rise from the rubble and as they gain access to social services and rehabilitate themselves in the aftermath of the earthquake.The CCA response will be in the form of a pastoral visit by ecumenical leaders to the churches and the affected communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- We heard the voices of our brothers and sisters who share the Korean Peninsula, whose security, safety and peace continue to be threatened by their fragile and uncertain situation brought about by hardening positions of their respective governments and the intervention of external powers. We will continue to support initiatives –2.1. Of both North and South Korea to commit to work for mutual respect and trust in order to overcome differences in ideology and systems;
2.2. For the two sides to agree to create a special peace zone and to reopen a corridor for humanitarian assistance (including food and medicine) into North Korea.
2.3. We support the campaign to replace the current Armistice
Agreement with a Peace Treaty.
We appeal to the Heads of State of both North and South Korea to do everything within their powers to ensure dialogue and the peaceful settlement of the border conflict that has rendered the Korean people captive for many years.
- We are shocked and saddened by the recent assassination of Mr. Shabhaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs and the only Christian Parliament Member in the Pakistan Government. CCA supports the call for an urgent and impartial investigation of the case and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The churches in Asia offer prayers and solidarity along with ecumenical accompaniment of both Muslims and non-Muslims in Pakistan who have all been rendered victims and would like to see the control of the misuse of the Blasphemy Law that has brought about the killings of innocent civilians with impunity.
- We thank God for the presence of Christians in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where the Christians with other religious minorities, to some extent, enjoy religious freedom. They sympathize with their Christian sisters and brothers all over the world in their struggles for peace and justice.
- We rejoice with the Filipino people for the successful resumption of the formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front, the preliminary talks between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Tripartite Meeting on the Final Peace Accord by the Government of the Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Organization of Islamic Countries. We share the hope that principled negotiations to resolve the issues giving rise to the conflicts that will pave the way to just and lasting peace in that country.
We are encouraged by the churches and the ecumenical movement in the Philippines for their steadfast prophetic advocacy of human rights and civil liberties. We support their call for the speedy and impartial investigation of human rights violations in order to render justice to the victims and the perpetrators of human indignity.
As we affirm the ministry and programs of CCA, we also reflect on our limited resources available to carry out our many and urgent tasks. Like the young boy who offered his five loaves and two fish that helped feed the hungry multitude, we pray that our limited resources will be made sufficient with God’s blessings. We prayerfully and collectively offer our deliberations and plans as we respond to the call to be more prophetic and to be active reconcilers and healers in Asia, where we are called to minister and to witness to God’s love, truth, justice and peace.
Yours in faith and solidarity,
For the Members, CCA General Committee:
REV. REX R. B. REYES, JR.
DR. K. B. ROKAYA
MS. VAN ARUNRASMEY
REV. RETNO NGAPON
REV. DR. HENRIETTE HUTABARAT LEBANG