25.11.10 15:31 Age: 1 yrs

Living Letters team to visit the Philippines


Children outside Jaro Evangelical Baptist Church in Iloilo City after Sunday morning service.

An international team of church representatives will pay a solidarity visit to churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society movements in the Philippines from 1 to 5 December. It will be the last in a series of "Living Letters" visits to various countries organized ahead of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in May 2011, in order to accompany people and churches who long for peace, security and reconciliation in the midst of conflicts and violence.


The members of the team come from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America and will be travelling on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC).The group will be listening to the victims of human right violations in the country and to others who lost family members in extrajudicial killings. The Living Letters team will receive first-hand information regarding the state of human rights in the Philippines, and learn what the international ecumenical community can do to support the active defence of human rights and civil liberties.


Over the past decades, the WCC has been closely following the state of human rights in the Philippines. At various occasions, the WCC expressed its concerns to national and international bodies and authorities about the worsening of the human rights situation in the country.


Several WCC statements and letters have unequivocally condemned the extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests, involuntary disappearances and abductions. The WCC is deeply concerned about the country's increasing militarization.


This visit is an expression of the ecumenical movement’s solidarity and commitment to accompany the churches and Filipinos who are engaged in the ministries of prophetic witness and struggle for the marginalized and the poor.


The delegation will be composed of the following members:

International delegates:

  • Ms Vijula Arulanantham, Christian Conference of Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Rev. Tara Curlewis, general secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia
  • Rev. Dr Dan Sandu, Romanian Orthodox Church
  • Ms Mardi Tindal, moderator, United Church of Canada
  • Mr Tony Waworuntu, former member of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) , Indonesia

WCC staff:

  • Ms Semegnish Asfaw, WCC research associate for the Decade to Overcome Violence
  • Ms Anastasia Dragan, WCC youth programme intern, Republic of Moldova
  • Ms Aneth Phenias Lwakatare, WCC communication programme intern, Tanzania

Local delegates:

  • Fr Rex Reyes, general secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines
  • Ms Carmencita Karagdag-Peralta, WCC Central Committee member


WCC documents and statements on the Philippines


WCC member churches in the Philippines