The WCC holds its assembly every seven years in different locations across the globe. At this year’s event ? whose theme is God of life, lead us to justice and peace, representatives from the organisation’s 345 member churches gathered for the ten-day conference which took place at the BEXCO centre in South Korea’s second city, Busan.
‘Assemblies are often turning points in the life of the World Council of Churches,’ said Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. ‘And Busan will surely leave its mark on ecumenical history.’
Addressing delegates, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who was attending his first WCC assembly, stressed the importance of the unity of the Church across the globe. ‘Our job is not to bring unity, but to make the unity that God gives us real,’ he said.
The assembly is the WCC’s highest governing body and unites Christians from all over the world for prayer and celebration. Reflecting on the assembly’s theme of justice and peace, the assembly also reviews the work of the WCC and determines overall policies for the coming years.
South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won attended the assembly and commended the Church for its commitment to justiceand peace.
‘I would like to extend my warm welcome to the distinguished leaders who travelled all the way here to participate and I would also like to give them credit for their commitment,’ he said.
‘The churches in Korea have always made a great contribution to overcoming the difficulties that our country is facing by giving continuous prayer. At the same time, they also provide help to people who are disadvantaged, with love and service. They have also made a lot of contribution to freedom, human rights and the medical service.’
Chine Mbubaegbu in Busan