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WCC’s Kobia focuses on human rights in Philippines

By United Methodist News Service
Nov. 19, 2007

The Rev. Samuel Kobia

Concern about human rights violations in the Philippines is a major focus as the chief executive of the World Council of Churches visits the country Nov. 18-21.
The Rev. Samuel Kobia, a Methodist from Kenya, is expected to meet with victims of human rights violations and families of victims of abductions and extrajudicial executions. He also will visit with representatives of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the Catholic Bishops Conference and various churches.
Kobia delivered the commemorative sermon Nov. 18 at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente for the late Most Rev. Alberto Ramento, who was brutally slain in October 2006. On Nov. 20, he will deliver the Gumersindo Garcia Memorial Lecture, which is organized by the national council in honor of a late ecumenical leader in the Philippines.

He will be the keynote speaker at the Nov. 21 opening ceremony of the 22nd general convention of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, which takes place every four years.
Kobia is accompanied by Justice Sophia Adinyira of the Supreme Court of Ghana and a member of the (Anglican) Church of the Province of West Africa; the Rev. Sandy Yule, national secretary for Christian unity, Uniting Church in Australia; and the Rev. Mathews George Chunakara, the WCC program executive for Asia.
The WCC has a longstanding commitment to support advocacy against human rights violations in the Philippines, according to its press office, and has joined other organizations in highlighting those violations during the last two sessions of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council.
A report documenting more than 800 victims of extrajudicial executions in the last six years in the Philippines was presented in Geneva last March by a Philippine ecumenical delegation sponsored by the council and the Lutheran World Federation.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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