Today we go back to year 1991 and travel to Canberra in Australia, and the closing of the 7th assembly of the World Council of Churches. The Assembly was attended by almost 900 delegates and the theme was “Come, Holy Spirit – Renew the Whole Creation", and it coincided with the start of the second Gulf War” Hanging over the meeting was criticism of the Councils failure to recognize persecuted East European Christians at the previous General Assembly in Vancouver in 1983.
In todays pod we look at their inauguration in 1948, as the world was emerging from the destruction of another world war. Comprising of 350 churches from more than 110 countries, representing over 500 million Christians worldwide. Its full members today, include Eastern and Orthodox churches, the Anglican Communion, and many reformed churches including Lutheran, Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Notably, the Catholic Church is not a full member, although it sends delegates to meetings. At the other end of the spectrum many evangelical churches who refused to join the WCC joined together to form the World Evangelical Alliance. We look at some of the impact of the WCC, and the tensions involved in promoting understanding between churches of different confessional traditions, modern and ancient