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World News

Further calls for World Council of Churches to suspend Russian Orthodox membership

by Alex Collett

There are continuous calls from the Ukrainian government to the World Council of Churches (WCC) to suspend Russian Orthodox membership, until invading forces withdraw.

The WCC made a visit to the country last week to discuss co-operating. 

The Ukrainian Culture and Information Minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, said in a social media post: "I am glad the voice of Ukrainian clergy will be heard during the WCC's upcoming assembly in Germany.

"But Russia uses culture to broadcast propaganda by its criminal regime. 

"So I consider it expedient to exclude, or at least suspend, membership of Russian Federation representatives, in the widest possible range of cultural programmes and international associations. 

"This is to block channels of disinformation, and to signal powerfully that the entire civilised world demands that Russia stop this terrible unprovoked war."

The WCC delegation, headed by the Orthodox acting secretary-general, the Rev Professor Ioan Sauca however said in a statement that the WCC's central committee had debated suspension calls in July 2022 and concluded unanimously that the Council should keep "its identity as an open platform where churches can meet and challenge one another".

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