The world’s largest ecumenical body celebrated its 60th anniversary Friday afternoon in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the same church it had held its opening service decades ago.
Representatives of member churches gathered at the Nieuwe Kerk Church for “prayerful celebration” for the official founding of the World Council of Churches on Aug. 23, 1948.
At its founding, the WCC had only 147 member churches but now it has grown to 349 churches, denominations and church fellowships representing more than 560 million Christians worldwide. more >>
The head of the World Council of Churches has urged the president of South Korea to ease his policy towards North Korea to better enable peace and reunification of the peninsula.
South Korea should not demand pre-conditions to be met before strengthening its relations with North Korea, contends the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, WCC’s general-secretary, in his letter to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
Instead, Seoul should respect the so-called “sunshine policy” of his predecessor, under which the two Korean governments had held two historic meetings. more >>
The Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC), seemingly having preferred not to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel, is instead in June convening a global week-long commemoration of the 1967 war. This remembrance will mournfully lament Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, without specifically recalling that the occupation only began after Israel defeated several Arab armies poised for attack. “It’s Time for Palestine!” is the theme for the joint advocacy initiative involving church events around the world.
But from the WCC’s perspective, is it ever a Time for Israel? Apparently not, as the WCC mostly echoes Palestinian verbiage about the Jewish nation’s founding as a “catastrophe.” In a brief news release earlier this month, the WCC frowningly noted that “just as 2008 marks 60 years of aspirations dedicated to securing a homeland for Israelis, 2008 also marks 60 years of the disintegration of Palestinian society and dispersal of some 750,000 Palestinians as refugees.” In other words, not much to celebrate!
The WCC evidently was reserving its strength for “It’s Time for Palestine” gala celebration next month. In Bethlehem, a “human clock” will mark six decades of “Palestinians living as refugees and uprooted people.” Jerusalem churches will publicly decry the 1948 “Nakba” (catastrophe). There will also be an international conference there to protest against the Israeli security barrier. The left-wing Catholic order Pax Christi will organize protest events in France, Belgium and Holland. A demonstration with signs declaring “Stop the Occupation” in Hebrew, Arabic English and Norwegian may march in Oslo. Filipino children who are victims of political killings in the Philippines will send letters of solidarity to Palestinian children. A “full-sized section of the Wall” will be erected by a church in Scotland in a city center. Such global excitement! more >>