Asian Christian Conference celebrates 60th anniversary
The Christian Conference of Asia says it is "grateful to God" to mark the 60th anniversary of its founding at Prapat in 1957, as the first regional ecumenical organization in the world, according to Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary, CCA during its Diamond Jubilee celebration.
More than 6,000 people, including 600 delegates who attended the Asia Mission Conference joined the Thanksgiving Service and the Diamond Jubilee commemorative public meeting held at the Franc Auditorium of the Baptist Church.
In his speech Dr. Chunakara stressed the importance of ecumenical movement while giving a brief background on CCA’s inception in 1957 in Prapat, Indonesia where, for the first time Protestant churches from 23 countries, discussed the theme, “Our common evangelistic tasks in Asia’. The Diamond Jubilee commemoration is a celebration of the journeying together of the Asian Churches and all members of the wider ecumenical family and fellowship, he said.
“The theme, “Journeying Together: Prophetic Witness to the Truth and Light, in Asia,” which was chosen for the Asia Mission Conference that coincided with the Diamond Jubilee, was linked to the role and relevance of the CCA in the Asian context.
Delivering the Diamond Jubilee message on the occasion of the founding of the CCA Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches said, “an anniversary is a benchmark on the road, a place to pause and to reflect, but not to stop. It is significant the theme begins with a description of the past that also points to the way forwards. CCA is a vibrant and living forum continuing cooperation among the churches and national Christian bodies in Asia, within the framework of the wider ecumenical movement. You are participating in the mission of God in Asia – and you are working for the benefit of the wider world,” said Rev. Dr. Tveit.
The Homily was preached by the only living participant of the 1957 Prapat Conference Bishop Dr Soritua Nababan based on the Biblical text, Acts. 1: 8.
Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai, chairman of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishop Conferences (FABC), and Dr.Ja Bu of Myanmar Council of Churches delivered greetings and felicitations at the meeting.
The Christian Conference of Asia includes the Anglican Churches in South Korea, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, northern India, Pakistan, southern India, Myanmar, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand as well as other Asian Christian confessions and organizations.