World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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The term "WCC document" applies to texts of many different types and levels of institutional authority. Many hundreds of such texts are available on our websites.

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Larnaca Declaration
Poor and oppressed people, who are at the margins of the world's concern, should be at the centre of Christian service, insisted the 300 participants in the 1986 global ecumenical consultation on interchurch aid in Larnaca, Cyprus. Diakonia, they said, is "liberating and transforming, suffering and empowering". Christian service cannot be separated from the struggle for justice and peace; therefore, advocacy, solidarity and sharing of skills are as essential to diakonia as the giving of money.
AIDS and the Churches
Adopted by the WCC Executive Committee’s at its meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland 15-19 September 1986
Executive Committee statement
Statement of the WCC Executive Committee, after having received a report on the consultation held in Geneva in June 1986 on "AIDS and the Church as a Healing Community".
Study I: Living in a Religiously Plural World
Statement on the Middle East
"SAY 'NO'", by Wolfgang Borchert
This poem was written in 1947 a few days before Borchert died at the age of 26. The following is an adaptation of the German version, first prepared by youth participants at the vigil for peace and justice at the WCC Assembly in Vancouver in 1983
An eye-witness account of Hiroshima
(Suggested as a possible reading at prayers for peace on Hiroshima Day)
Prayer for peace
On 5 August 1983, on the eve of the Hiroshima bombing's 38th anniversary, the WCC Assembly held a night-long vigil for peace.
Peace Vigil Meditation by Dr Philip Potter
A night-long vigil for peace on 5 August 1983 at the WCC 6th Assembly in Vancouver commemorated the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 38 years earlier. Meditation by the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Philip Potter
Fifth report of the Joint Working Group
The Fourth Report, presented to the Fifth Assembly of the WCC in 1975, also looked ahead to what should and could be done. This Fifth Report is presented in the same spirit.
Ecumenical Considerations on Jewish-Christian Dialogue
In 1975 the Consultation on the Church and the Jewish People (CCJP) voted to begin the process that has borne fruit in these Ecumenical Considerations on Jewish-Christian dialogue. The first step was to request preparatory papers from the various regions with experience in Jewish-Christian dialogue. When the Central Committee adopted "Guidelines on Dialogue" in 1979, work on developing specific suggestions for Jewish-Christian dialogue began and, after a period of drafting and revisions, a draft was presented for comments to the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), the CCJP's primary Jewish dialogue partner. After discussion in the DFI Working Group in 1980, a revised draft was circulated among interested persons in the churches and comments solicited. Many and substantial comments and suggestions were received. When it met in London Colney, England, in June 1981, the CCJP adopted its final revisions and submitted them to the DFI Working Group, which adopted them at its meeting in Bali, Indonesia, 2 January 1982, having made its own revisions at a few points. On the advice of the February 1982 WCC Executive Committee, various concerned member churches and various members of the CCJP were further consulted in order to revise and re-order the text. The result, "Ecumenical Considerations on Jewish-Christian Dialogue", was "received and commended to the churches for study and action" by the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches at Geneva on 16 July 1982.
Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper no. 111, the "Lima Text")
This famous text, adopted by Faith and Order at its plenary commission meeting in Lima, Peru in 1982, explores the growing agreement - and remaining differences - in fundamental areas of the churches' faith and life. The most widely-distributed and studied ecumenical document, BEM has been a basis for many "mutual recognition" agreements among churches and remains a reference today.
The eucharistic liturgy of Lima
The Lima Liturgy is a Eucharistic (Holy Communion) service expressing, in one possible liturgical form, the ecclesiological convergence on the eucharist reached in the Faith and Order text Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM). It is so named because it was first used at the Faith and Order Plenary Commission meeting in Lima, Peru in 1982 - the meeting which approved BEM for transmission to the churches for official response.
Sofia consultation
Statement on Jerusalem
On the basis of previous WCC statements the Central Committee opposes the Israeli unilateral action of annexing East Jerusalem and uniting the city as its "eternal capital" under its exclusive sovereignty.
Statement on Jerusalem
Fourth report of the Joint Working Group
Both the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches are determined to continue their collaboration and to seek together ways to serve the ecumenical cause. Therefore, after ten years of com­mon experience, it is appropriate to ask anew the question how they can, together, best further the ecu­menical movement, How should the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches be related to one another? What areas require primary atten­tion? What kind of common structure should be adopted? The present report attempts to answer these questions and submits to the parent bodies a number of recommendations as to the next steps to be taken.
Statement on Jerusalem
The Central Committee affirms that, in order to reach a satisfactory position regarding Jerusalem, the following facts should be taken into account:
Third report of the Joint Working Group
The Joint Working Group is convinced that the work of the past five years has been worthwhile. At the same time a great many things remain to be done. The Lord's demand is clear: that they may be one in order that the world may believe" (John 17,21). As we face this demand we are keenly aware of how much we still fall short of giving to the world the sign of communion which should arouse its faith in the love of the Father who sends his Son to save us.
Message of condolences on the death of Bishop Alberto Ramento