World Council of Churches

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

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Public Witness and Diakonia

In a world where economic injustice, poverty and exclusion, and many forms of violence are rife, the WCC voices the churches' concerns at the international level. As people of faith who are moving forward together, experiencing the renewal and transformation found in the pilgrimage of justice and peace, the churches offer a prophetic witness serving the world’s needs for justice and peace.

Rev. Dr Silvester Arinaitwe Rwomukubwe, of the Uganda Joint
Christian Council, lays down flowers
during the United Nations
Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty.
Photo: Andrew Kelly/Control Arms

As people of faith who are moving forward together, experiencing the renewal and transformation found in the pilgrimage of justice and peace, the WCC offers a prophetic voice in its public witness and diakonia, serving the world’s needs for justice and peace.

Public witness is the WCC and its member churches witnessing together for peace-building in priority countries: the Korean Peninsula, Syria, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. It is also accompanying churches in situations of conflict around the world, including the ongoing witness in the Middle East and in particular of the Ecumenical Accompaniers in Israel and Palestine.

Christian service – diakonia – consists in living gospel values in solidarity with others. This common ministry is manifest in the call for a sustainable future, turning back the impact of climate change, in an economy that offers life for all, securing water rights, in the empowering of women and lifting up of youth. It may also be seen in advancing peace through social justice, capacity building for service, the healing ministry of the churches today and HIV and AIDS work.

Projects and activities in this programmatic area include:

Health and healing

The WCC’s health and healing programme facilitates networking and dialogue to promote health and healing for all people. Throughout 2017 and 2018, the WCC is developing a global ecumenical health strategy to meet continuing and new health challenges worldwide.

WCC’s engagement for children

The World Council of Churches is working to improve children's well-being through a variety of projects at local, national and global levels.

Ecumenical United Nations Office (EUNO)

The strong, effective, and prophetic public voice of the EUNO promotes just peace and produces focused advocacy actions in response to emerging societal, church, and ecumenical trends through the accompaniment of member churches and ecumenical partners by advocating on behalf of and with them at international and national levels, most specifically towards the United Nations and member states.

Advocacy for the rights of stateless people

Mandated by the WCC 10th Assembly, the WCC has stepped up its efforts to advocate for the rights of the most vulnerable groups in society, including stateless people.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

The CCIA provides a platform for information-sharing and joint advocacy on critical situations and on opportunities to support initiatives for peacemaking, justice and overcoming poverty.

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, an ecumenical initiative of the World Council of Churches, is a global network of churches and related organizations committed to campaigning together on common concerns for justice and human dignity. Current campaign issues are HIV and AIDS, food security and sustainable agriculture.

Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA)

Churches can be a force for transformation - bringing healing, hope and accompaniment to all people affected by HIV. EHAIA promotes HIV competence among churches and theological institutions.

Care for creation and climate justice

Care for creation and justice are at the centre of WCC work on climate change. The Bible teaches the wholeness of creation and calls human beings to take care of the garden of Eden (Gen 2:15). The God of the Bible is a God of justice who protects, loves and cares for the most vulnerable among his creatures.

Promoting Just Peace

Christians and churches are entrusted with the ministry of peace and reconciliation. The WCC response to violence and violent conflict today is based on decades of ecumenical deliberation, understanding, practice and advocacy. The project is participatory and action-oriented and assists churches and related groups to make progress toward greater unity for peace.

Ecumenical Water Network

The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) strives to promote the preservation, responsible management and the equitable distribution of water for all, based on the understanding that water is a gift of God and a fundamental human right.

Solidarity with churches in the Middle East

The situation of the Middle East calls for collective efforts by ecumenical partners to achieve peace and justice at local, national, regional and international levels. The WCC aims to build a space where the entire ecumenical movement can put its collective energies and resources together for lasting peace.

Accompanying churches in situations of conflict

This project accompanies and equips churches for advocacy in countries where religion is being used to fuel conflict.

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

Each year, EAPPI sends around 100 "ecumenical accompaniers" (EAs) from different countries to vulnerable communities in Palestine, where their task is to protect and show solidarity with those communities, and advocate on their behalf. EAs also accompany the Israeli peace movement in their activities.

The WCC and eco-justice

The WCC work on eco-justice addresses the intrinsic connection between the ecological crises and socio-economic injustice.

Nuclear arms control

Advocating at various levels of national and international governance for nuclear disarmament

Poverty, wealth and ecology

This project brings churches and partners together to reflect on the connections between poverty, wealth and ecology; act against economic injustice; address just trade, ecological debt, decent work; and pursue work on "Alternative globalization addressing people and earth (AGAPE).

Human rights

This project accompanies churches in critical situations in their efforts to defend human rights and dignity, overcome impunity, achieve accountability and build just and peaceful societies.