The WEA supports the future of the Global Christian Forum
19 years after the establishment of the Global Christian Forum, the representatives of the world Christian community met together in Geneva for a historic meeting to decide on its continuation
(Bonn, 13.06.2017) Two decades after the Global Christian Forum first began with the goal to intensify communication between Christian churches, this communication has become a matter of course.
The four so-called ‘pillars’ of the Global Christian Forum (the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pentecostal World Fellowship), as well as other represented confessions, such as the Orthodox Church met together for two days in Bossey near to Geneva. They are in agreement that the Global Christian Forum must definitely be continued. For everyone it is important that the Forum remains a discussion platform which is open to new guests but does not form any kind of ‘super church,’ become an institution or emit theological or canonical declarations of principles.
Each of the five-person delegations were headed by Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Olav Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, and David Wells, vice-chair of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.
The World Evangelical Alliance delegation was composed of the secretary general, Bishop Efraim Tendero (the Philippines), his deputy, Thomas Schirrmacher, who is also responsible for interchurch relations, the secretary general of the Asian Evangelical Alliance, Richard Howell (India), the ambassador to the Vatican, Thomas K. Johnson (Czech Republic), and the director of the Business Coalition, Timo Plutschinski (Germany).
Because of the historically unique composition of the delegations, it was not only the future of the Global Christian Forum that was discussed in the premises of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey near Geneva, but also the current state of unity of worldwide Christianity. While there was great openness about the differences in points of view in theological but also increasingly ethical questions, it was agreed that there should be no reluctance to work together on social issues. In view of the great global challenges that need a powerful response from the Christian side, it is good to be assured of mutual support in many questions. This includes questions such as: persecution of Christians worldwide, right to life at the beginning and end of life, as well as the challenges of human trafficking, global corruption or the consequences of climate change for the Global South.
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- Photo 1: The delagtes of the World Evangelical Alliance (from left): Johnson, Plutschinski, Tendero, Howell, Schirrmacher © BQ / Warnecke
- Photo 2: The delegates and staff of the Global Christian Forum meeting in Bossey near Genf © WCC / Marianne Ejdersten
- The official report: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/201cgreater-oneness-in-christ201d-focus-of-dialogue-at-historic-meeting-in-bossey [Kontakt: marianne.Ejdersten@wcc-coe.org]
- Website of the Global Christian Forum: http://www.globalchristianforum.org/
- Report by Wes Granberg-Michaelson: https://sojo.net/articles/ecumenical-history-under-radar