WCC holds 11th General Assembly in Karlsruhe
By Vatican News staff reporter
More than 4,000 attendees representing 352 Churches in the five continents are expected in the German city of Karlsruhe next week for the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The eight-yearly event, which had to be postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place from August 31 to September 8 under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”.
German federal President giving keynote speech
On the opening day, German federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to deliver the keynote speech and the Minister-president of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann will greet the assembly. Messages will also be delivered by Prof. Barbara Traub, member of the Presidium of the Central Council of Jews and Imam Erol Pûrlû, representative of the Co-coordination Council of Muslims in Germany.
WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed his great joy at the upcoming gathering. “President Steinmeier, local leaders, religious leaders, and so many others—I look forward to your lively engagement in our blessed fellowship,” he said. “I look forward to your contributions, your reflections, and your perspective as we explore together the world’s many challenges within the theme of Christ’s love for our times.”
Member Churches of Wcc
The WCC , founded in 1948, brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 120 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 580 million Christians and including most of the world's Orthodox churches, Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches for a total of 352 churches . While the great majority of the WCC's founding churches were European and North American, today most of them are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific.
The General Assembly
The WCC Assembly is the highest governing body of the world ecumenical organization. It is tasked with electing the Central Committee and the presidents, reviewing the work of the Council, define its working guidelines, drawing up public statements, making any changes to its constitution and regulations and deciding its financial guide-lines .
The gathering is the only time when the entire fellowship of member churches comes together in one place for prayer and celebration. It is a unique opportunity for the churches to deepen their commitment to visible unity and common witness. This makes a WCC Assembly the most diverse Christian gathering of its size in the world.
The last General Assembly was held in Busan, South Korea in 2013.