This is a Kairos moment.
After four and a half months of violence that resulted in 2,000 deaths, the World Council of Churches issued a statement regarding the Assad regime's ongoing attacks against the Syrian people.
The statement, issued today (Aug. 9, 2011), calls on all parties in Syria to renounce violence at once, and to re-dedicate themselves and their country to the pursuit of dialogue, healing and peace.
The statement, signed by WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, includes the following passage:
In the wake of so many deaths, it is particularly urgent that the army and government security agencies cease the indiscriminate use of force, ensuring the citizens' right to free assembly and expression, pursuit of political progress and basic human dignity. All governments have an obligation to protect the lives and dignity of their citizens, and to protect their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
While the statement does not specifically mention the name of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, there is no doubt that Tveit is condemning the Assad regime for its violent attacks against civilians throughout the country. The statement also includes following plea: Stop the violence and killing, Seek a just peace for all.
Prior to this statement, the WCC had issued a few tweets on its twitter account lamenting the violence in Syria, which began in mid-March. For background on the WCC's silence on events in the Syrian Arab Republic go here, and here. For a brief assessment of the WCC's witness about the Middle East and obsession with Israel, go here.