The World Council of Churches has expressed concern that the deteriorating situation in the West African country of Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) “is on the verge of inflaming religious conflicts.”
In a statement released on 5 April 2011, WCC general secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, declared: “Already, religion is being used to wield political and economic power. We appeal to all people of goodwill to reject such manipulation."
"It is in this context that the World Council of Churches urges leaders on both sides to take adequate measures to end the hostilities and work for a negotiated political settlement to attain justice, peace and reconciliation within the country,” said Dr Tveit.
Analysts point out that while recent analysis says the current conflict is based on President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to yield to newly elected and internationally recognised President Alassane Ouattara, the conflict also has roots in long term divisions along ethnic, religious and economic lines.
The full text of the WCC statement can be found here: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/general-secretary/statem...
The World Council of Churches brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.
Its current General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, is from the (Lutheran) Church of Norway, and the WCC is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.