European churches affirm reconciliation and unity ahead of the WCC Assembly

29 August, 2022

A report from the Conference of European Churches (CEC) highlights European Church contribution toward reconciliation and unity ahead of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly. The report is an outcome of CEC’s European Regional Pre-Assembly, which focused on the WCC Assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”.

The report summarises reflections on topics related to the war in Ukraine, churches' efforts for peace, and their struggles in the context of secular and plural European societies.

The European Regional Pre-Assembly was held in February as part of the preparations for 11th Assembly of the WCC, to be held from 31 August to 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The European Regional Pre-Assembly was organised in cooperation with the Polish Ecumenical Council and the WCC Assembly office.

The report features views from churches in Europe who spoke about the war in Ukraine, delving deep on common issues, reflecting on what it means to be a church in Europe today, and what that means for a WCC Assembly hosted in Europe. As the gathering at the European Regional Pre-Assembly discussed issues in different geographical and ecclesial contexts, themes of reconciliation, secularity, and unity threaded together into a rich tapestry of common understanding and vision.

“The theme of the 11th WCC Assembly is Christocentric and missional, but not exclusivist. Christ’s love, radical compassion and solidarity with those who suffer, is at the centre of the reflections and preparations of churches for the Assembly,” reads the report.

The report states how churches in Europe are part of the worldwide movement of transformation, aware of their responsibilities, and strongly committed to the work of global unity and reconciliation.

“The war against Ukraine is a new shock to Europe that churches and Christians are grappling with, the city of Karlsruhe continues its preparations to host the WCC Assembly. The city, set on the banks of the Rhine near the French-German border, is a witness to a long history of reconciliation after World War II, and is an example of cross-border dialogue and reconciliation in Europe.”

“Churches in Europe hope that the upcoming Assembly will be a truly intergenerational, interconnected, and prophetic Assembly, prepared by local communities as they reflect on the biblical stories of Jesus’ compassion. They hope that this Assembly will be an ecumenical boost for Europe that will strengthen the role of ecumenism and religion’s role in our societies,” reads the report.

The European Regional Pre-Assembly brought together over 150 participants from across Europe, including prominent church leaders and academics, representing CEC Member Churches.

Download the full report from European Regional Pre-Assembly

Video presentations from European Regional Pre-Assembly

Video recordings from WCC Assembly introduction and orientation session

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