World Council of Churches to meet in Pretoria

Posted on July 20, 2016

For the first time since 1961, the World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order will convene in South Africa in 2017 in a highly significant ecumenical, ecclesiological and historical context.

The Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria (UP) will be celebrating its centenary in 2017 and the Commission on Faith and Order meeting will form part of the official celebrations, with a conference and special celebrations taking place on the Hatfield Campus on Youth Day. The meeting will be framed by the deep connection between the search for the visible manifestation of the One Church of Christ and the struggle against the walls that separate the one humanity.

Prof Andries van Aarde, emeritus professor in UP's Faculty of Theology, was instrumental in ensuring that the meeting take place in Pretoria next year.

The World Council of Churches is the broadest and most inclusive of the many organised expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity. The Council brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world's Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. There are now 348 member churches.

The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, which withdrew from the World Council of Churches in 1961 in connection with the Council's policy on Apartheid, was fully readmitted in June 2016.


- Author Petronel Fourie

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