World Council Concludes 9th Assembly

The World Council of Churches ended its ninth Assembly Thursday, after approving significant changes in its constitution and priorities, and re-dedicating itself to the Christian ecumenical movement.

“This Assembly has affirmed the vitality of the ecumenical movement and the commitment of the churches to the ecumenical vision and goal of unity, and to strive for a more just and peaceful world,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia.

Over 4,000 delegates, visitors and observers participated in the Assembly, which met from Feb. 14-23 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The Assembly marked the first to be held in Latin America since the Council was created in 1948.

Some of the highlights of the Assembly included the adoption of a revised constitutions, the move toward Christian unity, and a renewed dedication to youth.

At that light, the Assembly endorsed new proposals to create a special body that would represent young adults – under 30 years of age – in the decision-making and leadership process for the Council.

Delegates to the assembly also took action on “issues of international concern,” including globalization, counter-terrorism and human rights, nuclear disarmament, the scarcity of water, and the reform of the United Nations.