The National Council of Churches USA held its annual General Assembly this week in Denver where topics of discussion ranged from Christian unity to racial justice.
Under the theme “Jesus Said … Whoever is Not Against You is For You,” the three-day meeting that closed on Thursday focused on overcoming divisions in the secular world as well as within the Christian body.
Prominent theologian Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of Religion at Columbia University in New York, gave the message for the opening session on Tuesday. more >>
Representatives from across the denominational spectrum gathered in Delhi for the last four days to hash out a plan for the Global Christian Forum over the next three years.
The Global Christian Forum program, which opened on Saturday, took as its main focus the recommendations of last year's forum in Limuru, Kenya, and the reports of the evaluation process from 1998 to 2007 as delegates reflected on the needs of the global church and its vision for reaching out to people in the 21st century.
The gathering brought together 60 representatives of the historic Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Evangelical movements to share their future goals and participate in forum discussions on nurturing a broader ecumenical movement. more >>
With so many new interfaith dialogues between different sets of Christian and Muslim leaders, there is a possibility for overlap and confusion, according to the Vatican's top official for interfaith efforts.
There is now so much interest in Christian-Muslim dialogue that it is getting hard to see where it is going, said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, in an interview after last week's landmark conference between Catholic and Muslim leaders.
"There's a risk of overlapping," he told Reuters. "It may be the price to pay for all this interest that interreligious dialogue incites." more >>
The most prominent ecumenical church association in the United States has accused the filmmakers behind a controversial DVD on radical Islam of “distorting truth and misleading viewers.”
The National Council of Churches (NCC)’s Interfaith Relations Commission says the DVD, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” has the effect of “fanning the sparks of mistrust, bigotry and hatred that undermine the very foundations of a multi-religious democracy.”
“We are deeply troubled by the apparent intent of a film that presents a barrage of violent images, pieced together with the voices of commentators who move from speaking of ‘radical Islam’ to impugning Islam and Muslims more generally and presenting fear-mongering parallels between today's extremist terrorists and the Nazis,” the commission expressed in a statement released late last week. more >>
A team of Muslim scholars arrived in Rome Monday ahead of a landmark meeting with top Catholic officials.
The Muslim scholars, who will meet Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican officials for a series of talks starting Tuesday, hope the Nov. 4-6 meeting will help defuse ongoing tensions between Islam and Christianity.
"It is clear that the time has come to open debate on the common theological underpinnings and the shared foundations of the two religions," wrote Professor Tariq Ramadan, president of the European Muslim Network (EMN), in a commentary appearing in the U.K.-based Guardian. Ramadan is part of the delegation of Muslim scholars taking part in the first round of interfaith talks with the Vatican. more >>
PATTAYA, Thailand - The highly-anticipated, upcoming third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization will be addressing emerging threats and concerns to Christian missions, informed the head of the Lausanne Congress on Monday at a major evangelical conference.
With new forms of hostility towards Christianity emerging, S. Douglas Birdsall, the executive chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, said the 2010 gathering in Cape Town, South Africa, is needed to bring together the best minds in the evangelical world to develop unified responses to challenges to the faith.
“You might ask is there a need for an international congress that deals with world evangelization,” said Birdsall at the 2008 World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) General Assembly in Thailand. more >>