31 August 2022, Karlsruhe, Germany: The opening prayer service of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The Assembly's theme is "Christ's Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity."

Photo: Paul Jeffrey/WCC


The Assembly

The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches took place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity".


Report of the WCC 11th Assembly

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: Report of the WCC 11th Assembly


Report on the Ecumenical Conversations

Report on the Ecumenical Conversations at the WCC 11th Assembly

The WCC assembly is the highest governing body of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and normally meets every eight years. It is the only time when the entire fellowship of member churches comes together in one place for prayer and celebration.

A WCC assembly is a special time in the lives of member churches, ecumenical partners, and other churches, as it brings together more than 4 000 participants from all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the churches to deepen their commitment to visible unity and common witness. This makes a WCC assembly the most diverse Christian gathering of its size in the world.

The WCC 11th Assembly took place in Karlsruhe, Germany, at the joint invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the Protestant Church in Baden, the Council of Churches in Germany, the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine (UEPAL), and the Protestant Church in Switzerland.

A WCC Assembly in Germany

The WCC accepted the invitation of the member churches in Germany to hold the 11th assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The last assembly in Europe took place in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968.

The city of Karlsruhe is in Baden in south-west Germany, a historical and cultural “trans-border-region.” Karlsruhe is the second-largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The main venue for the assembly was the Messe-Karlsruhe (www.messe-karlsruhe.de/en), located in the heart of the city.

The local hosting church, the Protestant Church in Baden, became a united church by petition of the people in 1821. The 200-year anniversary of the unification of the church was celebrated in 2021.

A WCC Assembly in Europe

After World War II and with the changes in the geo-political situation brought about by decolonization, a new reality of a mainly Western European entity developed. At the same time, the opposition between the Soviet Union and the Western powers caused the division of the continent into East and West, which lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The European churches in the ecumenical movement and the WCC have always endeavoured to maintain and nurture a sense of unity across the divide of the Cold War. This was also one of the main functions of the regional ecumenical organization created by the churches of Europe in 1959, the Conference of European Churches (CEC).

The geographical spread of the European region in the WCC and the ecumenical movement coincides, for the most part, with the political understanding of Europe stretching from the Urals to the Atlantic. On the southern side, the countries of the Caucasus are included but not Cyprus, which is grouped with the Middle East. Sub-regional affinities are fairly strong: the Nordic region (the Scandinavian countries plus Finland and the Baltics), Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Southern Europe.

The Protestant churches in western and southern Europe have formed a sub-regional conference. To some extent, there is also a sub-regional confessional pattern: the large churches of the Reformation (Protestant and Anglican) are mostly in the west and north, the Catholic Church is in a majority position in the south (and in Poland), the Orthodox churches form the majority in the central and eastern parts of Europe. The churches of the Protestant Reformation (Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist) are in full communion through the Leuenberg Agreement and have formed the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. The Anglican and (episcopal) Lutheran churches in Great Britain and the Nordic countries (with the exception of Denmark) have also signed an agreement of full communion (Porvoo).  There are 81 WCC member churches in Europe.

WCC member churches in Europe

Conference of European Churches

WCC Member Churches in Germany

Statement on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

‘Behold I create new heavens in which life, justice and peace are possible for all’.

(Isaiah  65:17-25)

Indigenous Peoples are created with God-given identities that are beautiful.  God was present in their lands and among their peoples before colonizers arrived. When Christians brought the Bible, Indigenous People recognized the voice of their Creator in Jesus’ teachings. They did not hear a call to reject their identities.


Christian Witness and Action for Human Dignity and Human Rights (statement)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

(Luke 4:18-19)

The current global context is marked by escalating conflicts, divisions, inequalities, resurgent racism, xenophobic attacks on migrants, antisemitism, violations of the rights of women and other forms of discrimination, threats against human rights defenders, as well as authoritarianism, populist nationalism, and religious and other forms of extremism, that threaten grave peril for the physical security and human dignity and rights of diverse communities and individuals around the world.

Executive committee

New and Emerging Technologies, Ethical Challenges (statement)

The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love (Psalm 33:5)

New technologies are transforming our world and the multiple spaces in which we live, work and witness. These technologies offer us new ways to create, to heal, to communicate, and to navigate the world. However, many such technologies, while undoubtedly offering actual or potential advances in human wellbeing, have also raised concerns regarding their social and environmental impacts and ethical implications, especially in light of the rapidity of their development and application.

Executive committee
Assembly publications

Publications for the WCC 11th Assembly

Assembly related publications

Publications related to the WCC 11th Assembly

Bible studies

Bible studies for the WCC 11th Assembly

All Assembly documents

Full list of documents related to the WCC 11th Assembly

Assembly publications

Oasis of Peace

Spiritual Life Resources

Oase des Friedens: Gottesdienstbuch

Oasis de paix: Ressources pour la vie spirituelle

Oasis de Paz: Recursos para la vida espiritual

This multilingual volume of spiritual life resources is meant to inspire the collective prayer and praise of participants at the WCC’s 11th Assembly, taking place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, where Christians from around the world, the whole oikoumene, are uniting to rejoice in the love of God in Christ.

Oasis of Peace Opening Prayer

This multilingual volume will guide the opening prayer of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches on 31 August. In addition to the order of service it includes the text of the homily to be presented by John X Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the youth testimony Ms Ann Jacob, United Methodist Church, USA.

Resource Book

World Council of Churches 11th Assembly, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2022

This assembly Resource Book, a documentary collection published in four separate language editions, is meant to orient assembly delegates and participants to the assembly process, convey documents and reports upon which the assembly will act, and also link participants to a variety of important background documents about the many substantive matters that will engage the gathered fellowship there.

To that end, the Resource Book will function as a ready documentary reference and resource for assembly delegates as well as other participants.

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies 

Und da er das Volk sah - Bibelstudien 

Voyant les foules - Études bibliques 

Al ver las multitudes - Estudios bíblicos

The plenary Bible studies are an important aspect of the work of the assembly. They give participants an opportunity to meet daily around a Bible passage to reflect on the theme and the experience of the assembly. Participants can discern together God’s purposes for themselves and the ecumenical movement. They meet in groups which are small enough to allow everyone to contribute and large enough to give a range of perspectives. The Bible study sessions provide an opportunity for participants to explore the assembly theme together in the light of the biblical texts, knowledge, and experience. To be involved in group Bible study is to be open to one another, to the Bible passage and to the Holy Spirit. It is not to win an argument or to persuade others to a particular point of view. These sessions should be a place where the participants can integrate all they have heard and done in the assembly and discover together the possibilities of transformation that God offers us.

Christ’s Love (Re)moves Borders

GETI 2022 Prayer Booklet

The spiritual life during GETI 2022 embodies the WCC ethos of holding spirituality and critical reflection together as parts of an integrated whole. In that regard, this Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) is envisioned as a holistic process encompassing formative and informative dimensions of learning. This prayer booklet contributes to holistic learning. It is a resource for spiritual life, a formative dimension of the GETI 2022 experience and learning. It illuminates the theme “Christ’s Love (Re)Moves Borders” liturgically. This, therefore, serves as a resource for (spi)ritual and prayerful reflection for all during the residential phase of the study process that was also anticipated during the online phase.


Ecumenical Youth Gathering Songbook

This collection of songs will be used during morning and evening prayers at the Ecumenical Youth Gathering to be held on 27-30 August before the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, which aims to bring together around 400 young people from various churches and ecumenical partners to discuss a common message. The event is designed to provide an opportunity for young people to participate in intergenerational dialogue and develop a more inclusive agenda for the movement.

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: Report of the WCC 11th Assembly

The Report of the WCC 11th Assembly is an important element of a wider collection of resources that offers a flavour of what took place at the assembly in Karlsruhe in 2022, which gathered more than 4500 people, including 659 official delegates from the WCC’s 352 member churches around the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

This report includes an overview of the assembly, the message and unity statement, various reflections, an overview of the spiritual life of the assembly, reports of the work since the previous assembly, an overview of thematic plenaries and ecumenical conversations, reports of assembly committees, statements and minutes, messages from pre-assemblies, greetings to the assembly and various appendices.

Report on the Ecumenical Conversations at the WCC 11th Assembly

This book is a collection of all the reports of 23 ecumenical conversations addressing different issues pertinent to the unity of churches and their common witness and service to the world that took place at the WCC's 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe. It presents the deliberations and the ensuing affirmations and challenges that the participants saw as imperatives for the work of the WCC and the wider ecumenical movement in the 2023-2030 strategic period until the 12th Assembly takes place. 

The report from each conversation contains an abstract, short notes on the proceedings, and a list of key affirmations and challenges to guide the fellowship in reflecting and acting on the issues identified.

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: A reflection on the theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe 2022.

The result of the work of an international group drawn from different regions and confessional traditions, the text is intended as a resource for churches and Christians worldwide in advance of the WCC’s 11th Assembly, to take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022. It offers biblical and theological reflections on the assembly theme, inspired by a biblical verse – “For the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor. 5:14) – against the backdrop of critical issues confronting churches and humanity as a whole. The text is available initially in four languages – English, French, German, and Spanish.

Pilgrims on the Path of Peace

The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe (Illustrated)

This report, received by the WCC central committee in February 2022, is the accountability report of the central committee to the WCC 11th Assembly, describing and offering an assessment of the activities of the WCC, since the 10th Assembly, in Busan, Republic of Korea, in late 2013.

This illustrated version is a narrative of a fellowship of churches committed to moving together on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, conveying something of the energy, excitement, ambition, and initiative that have marked the WCC’s journey since Busan. It aims to assist assembly delegates to understand the council’s journey in this period and help them actively participate in the assembly, and to share the ecumenical vision reflected in the WCC’s activities with member churches, partners, and the wider fellowship.

This report is available in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Celebrate Christ’s Love!

Sing and Pray

Celebrate Christ’s Love! Sing and Pray

Feiern Wir Die Liebe Christi! Singen und Beten

Célébrons L’amour Du Christ! Chante et Prie

¡Celebremos El Amor De Cristo! Canto y Oración

In four languages, a newly released publication developed by the assembly’s worship planning group, Celebrate Christ’s Love!, expands the opportunity to prepare spiritually for the assembly.

This publication contains some of the components of the final spiritual-life resource that will be used at the assembly. It invites assembly participants and the wider fellowship to celebrate the love of God that we find in Christ through prayer, song, and reflecting on Jesus’ preaching and healing as portrayed in the Gospels.

Assembly related publications


Statement on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

‘Behold I create new heavens in which life, justice and peace are possible for all’.

(Isaiah  65:17-25)

Indigenous Peoples are created with God-given identities that are beautiful.  God was present in their lands and among their peoples before colonizers arrived. When Christians brought the Bible, Indigenous People recognized the voice of their Creator in Jesus’ teachings. They did not hear a call to reject their identities.

Report on the Ecumenical Conversations

Report on the Ecumenical Conversations at the WCC 11th Assembly

Ecumenical Conversations (EC) were envisioned as in-depth discussions linked to the potential work of WCC commissions and other programmes. They were drawn from the insights of WCC networks, member churches, and partners and/or related to emerging ecumenical concerns. Ecumenical conversations were outcome-focused. Outcomes were shared with the assembly committees, and detailed reports were shared with future governing bodies.

Each Ecumenical Conversation took place in the same group for four days. This gave the possibility for creating safe spaces and a positive group dynamic, as well as for the participants to go in-depth into an issue. Ecumenical Conversations were open to assembly participants with a right to speak.

Participants of the Ecumenical Conversations were all official participants of the assembly plus GETI students and faculty (Delegates, Delegated Representatives, Delegated Observers, Advisors to the assembly, Advisors to delegations, Observers, Guests, GETI students and faculty).

EC 1: Mission Reimagined: Transforming Disciples Challenging Empire

The church is inherently missionary, and it participates in the movement of Christ’s love to the world, creating reconciliation and unity. At its best, the church’s witness to Christ is expressed in intercultural communities of faith, hope, and love: communities of redemption and renewal at a personal and collective, as well as local and global level. This Ecumenical Conversation challenges its participants to have a renewed imagination of their own journey as transforming disciples of Jesus Christ, and to consider his prophetic word to their own situation. The Ecumenical Conversation also invites them to identify the challenges we face in today’s world such as inequality, ethnic division, polarized identities, and socio-economic imbalances, encourages the WCC and its assembly to take a lead into the transforming of the world and pursue a vision of transformation that can capture the imagination of a diverse church and world in the next generation.

EC 2: Dreaming a New Future: A Call from the Margins

The Arusha Call to Transforming Discipleship is a response “to Jesus’ call to follow him from the margins of our world (Luke 4:16-19)”. The systemic marginalization of communities around the world has increased rapidly in recent years due to capitalism, militarization, authoritarian politics, systemic inequalities, racism, perceived cultural superiority, and socio-political victimization. Further to this, global mega trends such as the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic have further marginalized and exacerbated existing inequalities. Affirmation 4 of the Arusha Call presents us with the charge “to joyfully engage in the ways of the Holy Spirit, who empowers people from the margins with agency, in the search for justice and dignity” (Acts 1:8; 4:31). The call from the margins is a challenge to the various centres of our world to discern how the Spirit is at work among the marginalized and to listen to and affirm what those at the margins are saying. The call from the margins of our world is a call to dreaming a new future. Compelled by this call, this Ecumenical Conversation is an invitation to dream and explore together a renewed vision of a new future from the perspectives of the margins aided by the lens of contextuality and intersectionality and its implications for mission.

EC 3: Walking Together Hand in Hand: Evangelism and Justice – exploring theology and practice for mission and evangelism in an unjust world

Called to transforming discipleship, churches have the responsibility to work for the restoration of justice; to be in solidarity with the oppressed, the marginalized, the “least” of every society that are conveniently kept under the radars of our comfort zones. However, this necessitates also an honest, uncomfortable self-critique, a self-evaluation of our theologies and practices of mission today. This Ecumenical Conversation aspires to motivate and inspire churches to re-examine and finally re-shape their missional commitment; To emphasize the importance and urgency for a kind of discipleship that strives for the transformation of the unjust world we live in! A transformation brought about as Christ’s Love shakes and moves the world! A transformation that comes/begins from within; from within the individual disciple; from within our theologies of mission, from within our evangelistic practices and from the challenges we face as we witness to Christ's justice in a broken world, being broken ourselves.

EC 4: The Gift of Being: A Church of All and For All – inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in ministry and mission

The title of the conversation is borrowed from the theological reflection on disability which was received and approved by the WCC Central Committee in 2016 entitled “The Gift of Being: Called to Be a Church of All and for All”. The conversation will look at the various layers of marginalization based on disability through a process of critical theological reflection on our ecclesial practices and empower the churches to find meaningful inclusion within religious communities. Discussions on our common vulnerability as humans, especially in the context of the assembly theme, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Sustainable Development Goals will be explored, as well as sharing experiences on the gift of life as an endowment in countless ways from others throughout our lifetime. From the conversation the participants will get a deeper understanding of re-encountering God in the light of the experience of disability and a search for fresh understandings of what it means to live in the image of such a God.

EC 5: Creation and Common Prayer

One of the affirmations made in the Ecumenical Conversation 05 at the 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan was “Prayer is something we can already do together. We should pray together as often as possible.” As we continue to address the issue of common prayer in the ecumenical movement in our ongoing pilgrimage towards unity and reconciliation, we must continue to affirm that our praying together is a spiritual gift. This Ecumenical Conversation will: a) examine how creation, a gift that is shared by all, can be a source that informs both the content and contour of common prayer; b) reflect on how elements of creation have already contributed to shaping Christian spirituality and theology throughout the centuries in various faith traditions and c) explore how expressions of common prayer, modelled on the shared gift of creation, can open new vistas for ecumenical prayer to be an opened door through which unity and reconciliation are approached as we welcome all believers in the Triune God to be joined together in common prayer.

EC 6: Broadening the Dialogue on the Church

What is the ecumenical relationship between new ways of being church, which have emerged in connection with the globalization of Christianity, and the search for a common understanding the Church expressed in the 2012 WCC document The Church: Towards a Common Vision? Throughout the 20th century, the landscape of Christianity changed significantly. Primarily centred in the Northern hemisphere, Christianity has become global and taken new contextualized faces in different continents. At the same time, new denominations, often proposing new ways of being church, have emerged.  As a result, the search for the visible unity of the churches, which is at the core of the ecumenical movement, must face the challenge of reaching out to those communities or denominations, which so far have not been partners in the ecumenical dialogue about the Church. This ecumenical conversation will first offer a brief introduction to what the WCC Commission on Faith and Order has done in recent years on the common understanding of the Church and on the dialogue with new expressions of world Christianity. It will then propose a theological discussion on future steps towards the manifestation of Christian unity amidst a growing diversity of ways of being church.

EC 7: Creation Justice Now! Climate Action and Water for Life

The present world development model based on extractive economic growth is unsustainable and triggers climate change. The brunt of climate change impacts are faced by the poor and marginalized communities, including indigenous people, women, and children. Climate change manifests its impacts through water – the lack of it (drought) or excessive presence (floods). About 1/3rd of world’s population does not have access to safely managed water and about 2/3rd do not have access to safely managed sanitation facilities. COVID-19 has also shown us a snapshot of a “new normal” that is possible for a planet that is sustainable, focusing on an economy of life. The aim of this conversion is to promote a theological and ethical reflection of the urgency of climate change and water crisis and to come up with a roadmap for reconciling with nature.

EC 8: Who lives, who dies, who cares?: The churches’ role in health and healing today

The current pandemic has highlighted that health impacts all aspects of life, and that churches can and should play a more proactive role to promote a holistic understanding of health and wellness. As the world races towards the 2030 target of the Sustainable Development Goals and tries to “build back better” post-COVID-19, this Ecumenical Conversation will explore the unique contributions that churches can make at this critical juncture, from local up to the global level. This Ecumenical Conversation will: a) Reflect on the theological basis for medical mission, with implications for our times; b) Deepen the understanding of health and healing, with a focus on churches as healing communities; c) Discuss theological and ethical implications of emerging health issues; d) Explore ecumenical partnerships and resources to strengthen church health ministries globally.

EC 9: Economy of Life in a time of inequality, climate change and the 4th industrial revolution

Widening inequalities, persistent hunger, structural racism, runaway climate change, and destructive pandemics stem from and expose the brokenness of the prevailing global economic order, pointing to the urgency of pursuing an Economy of Life for all. In the current climate of intertwined crises, artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, and other innovations are touted as solutions but raise profound socio-ethical concerns. Faith together with science reveal the path away from planetary breakdown towards a flourishing future, demanding deep-seated transformations in the way our societies produce and consume. This ecumenical conversation addresses the following questions: What can we harvest as good practices from churches’ engagement in promoting life-affirming economies? How do we live our faith and practice transforming discipleship in times and landscapes shaped by financial capital? What can we learn from the perspectives of communities living in the margins with a view to striving for reparative and restorative economies? What are the emerging challenges and how must we as churches respond?

EC 10: WCC and ACT Alliance: Ecumenical Diakonia – building bridges: local action by churches together

Faith actors are important agents of change and transformation. Jointly, members of WCC and of ACT Alliance are recognized for their impact at local, national, and global levels – not least their diverse and innovative responses to COVID-19. How do we reinforce this? This Ecumenical Conversation aims to energize the collaborative Christian contribution to a better and more just future in three ways: (1) Share examples of Christian social action (diakonia) on issues such as COVID-19, HIV & AIDS, gender justice, climate change and other contemporary challenges. What are best practices? How can we finance and build capacity? How can we engage with the UN Sustainable Development Goals? (2) Strengthen our theological and conceptual understanding by working with the WCC and ACT Alliance document: “Called to Transformative Action – Ecumenical Diakonia”. (3) Re-imagine diaconal literacy, capacity building, and education jointly across WCC and ACT Alliance, including use of the recently published “International Handbook on Ecumenical Diakonia”.

EC 11: Conversations on the Pilgrim Way: invitation to journey together on matters of human sexuality

At the Tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, in response to the issues raised during the ecumenical conversations, business sessions, and other presentations regarding the challenges that issues of human sexuality pose to WCC member churches and its constituencies, the assembly through the Programme Guidelines Committee made the following recommendation: ‘Being aware of divisive issues among churches, the WCC can function as a safe space to enter into dialogue and moral discernment on matters which the churches find challenging. Examples which have been heard strongly in this assembly include questions of gender and human sexuality. Controversial issues have their place within that safe space on the common agenda, remembering that tolerance is not enough, but the baseline is love and mutual respect.’ In response to the above recommendation, the WCC general secretary formed both a Staff Group and a Reference Group on Human Sexuality to work on a resource document, which was presented to the WCC executive committee in November 2019. The executive committee received the document and recommended to ‘transmit the report to the central committee for information with the suggestion that the WCC 11th Assembly could have an Ecumenical Conversation on this topic’. The aim of this ecumenical conversation is to create a space for dialogue and discussion on human sexuality as it is being carried out in different contexts of the WCC fellowship and how the conversation can be carried out in the future, emphasizing love and reconciliation.

EC 12: Trends and emerging issues in a rapidly changing world

This Ecumenical Conversation will discuss and reflect on trends in a rapidly changing world, that will affect the life and work of churches 20 years from now; guide ethical and moral discernment and contribute to checks and balances for the development and utilization of these technologies. It will focus on new ways of being Church and community, Demographic transformation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Genetic Modification. The participants will discuss the implications of these key issues in the life of the Church and recommend steps for faith communities to provide ethical and moral discernment and accompaniment and contribute to checks and balances for the development of these technologies. The facilitators will bring in-depth expertise and initiate group conversations. The participants will receive succinct and comprehensive resource material on the subjects well in advance and are expected to reflect on and review the issues from their contexts as a preparation for the conversations.

EC 13: Towards a Just Peace in the Middle East

The question of Just Peace in the Middle East remains at the heart of the work of the Ecumenical Movement. Unfortunately, long lasting circles of violence, political instability, destruction of the social cohesion systems in place, and social injustices threatened all populations of the region, but above all the most vulnerable among the religious, ethnic, and cultural components, such as the Christians. The crucial question of the historical Christian presence and witness in the Middle East shifts to a narrative of terrorism, extremism, and threatening Christians in the Middle East. The ecumenical movement has an important role to play in shaping the future narratives for peace and social cohesion while ensuring and strengthening the role and place of Christians as equal actors and partners of the Middle East.

EC 14: Ecumenical Call to Just Peace: Holistic approaches to peacebuilding

The period from Busan (10th Assembly) to Karlsruhe (11th Assembly) has been defined by the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, pursuing a holistic vision of just peace as described in the 10th Assembly Statement on the Way of Just Peace. This Ecumenical Conversation will examine how churches in key national contexts – especially those identified as priority countries during this period – have responded to this call, the challenges they have faced, how the ecumenical movement has sought to support and accompany churches and communities in those contexts, and the impact of those efforts. (A separate Ecumenical Conversation – No. 13 – will address the issue of Just Peace in the Middle East.) In addition to learning about churches’ efforts to promote a just peace in their own contexts, this Ecumenical Conversation will seek to identify best practice/lessons learned from these experiences, and to further develop the ecumenical approach to holistic peacebuilding.

EC 15: Freedom of Religion and Belief: The Church and Others in the Face of Religious Discrimination and Oppression

This Ecumenical Conversation will address concerns about Christian suffering, persecution and marginalization and promote the understanding and acceptance of the principle of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) as applicable for all people regardless of faith or belief. The issue of how FoRB claims are sometimes used to suppress the rights of others must also be addressed. Different regions and different groups of people – i.e., women, children, people with disabilities, and migrant populations experience violations of FoRB differently. Consideration of the different impacts will be integrated across the conversation, as will the theological underpinnings of the principles of FoRB. The conversation will comprise four elements – introduction to the topic, context and sharing of experiences, the role of the church, and tools for advocacy. The conversation will inform and challenge attitudes about the different facets of FoRB beyond the usual geographic contexts and own faith orientations of participants, building on the assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

EC 16: Together Towards Racial Justice: Confronting and Dismantling the Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Colonialism in a Time of Increasing Populism and Xenophobia

The legacy of slavery and colonialism continues to affect the lives of millions today: white supremacy, racial discrimination against black and brown bodies, Afrophobia, xenophobic violence, racism and white privilege, racism in relation to gender violence, hate speech against minorities, discrimination, and exploitation on the basis of religion and caste. The aim of this Ecumenical Converstation is to create awareness of the complex and intersectional nature of racism and its manifestations, to deepen awareness of and confront the churches’ past and ongoing complicity with racism and the ways these have justified and validated racism, and to identify as well as uphold existing markers for anti-racist and anti-discriminatory behaviour. These principle markers and new life affirming possibilities will be made available to churches as a resource. Throughout the four sessions, the Ecumenical Conversation will include personal testimonies, storytelling, small group sharing, panels, and short presentations.

EC 17: Exile, Exodus and Hospitality: Human Mobility, Displacement and the Public Role and Witness of the Church

Migration and/or human mobility in its varied forms not only poses specific challengers concerning human rights, it calls into question the ongoing mission and prophetic role of the church. This Ecumenical Conversation will explore the tensions and intersections between human rights and Christian faith; and the churches pastoral, prophetic and public role. The Ecumenical Conversation will explore the changing and extremely diverse profiles of people on the move, the challenges migration raises, and the many ways migrants transform ecclesial life, mission, and praxis. As migration is likely to become increasingly complex in the years to come, this Ecumenical Conversation will consider how and why it is necessary for churches to continue to be strong witnesses and advocates in the public sphere as well as addressing current, emerging, and future migration challenges.

EC 18: Interreligious Solidarity as Interreligious Engagement

Trying to bridge the theological and practical dimensions of interreligious dialogue, this Ecumenical Conversation will explore interreligious solidarity as a viable model of interreligious engagement in world affected by the COVID-19 and many other ongoing pandemics. Using the WCC-PCID joint document on ‘Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity’ as a foundation, it will develop strategies to foster practical interreligious solidarity in a multi-religious world. It will begin by exploring the spiritual/theological inspiration for interreligious solidarity within religious traditions and seeking to understand how solidarity is built into the self-understanding of religious communities. Then, using experiences of interreligious solidarity as a prism, participants will analyze: a) What approaches to solidarity have worked well so far? b) What issues pose obstacles to interreligious solidarity? It will seek to build this analysis into action by reflecting on strategies to translate interreligious engagement into interreligious solidarity in a post-COVID-19 World.

EC 19: Theological education – Why its ecumenicity is essential

Theological education is a key concern of the ecumenical movement. It provides a vital space for developing and nurturing constructive theological reflection in midst of changing ecclesial and religious landscapes. In view of sectarian and inward-looking tendencies, ecumenical theological education calls upon churches to reflect jointly and profoundly on the nature and mission of the church in the world. This Ecumenical Conversation will discuss the opportunities and challenges, with particular reference to how pedagogical innovation, methodologies, epistemologies, curriculum development, and institutional frameworks could strengthen the ecumenicity of theological education today. This Ecumenical Conversation at the WCC Assembly will seek to explore ecumenical theological education as a profound reflection of lived mutuality and unity and envision (with theological rationale and historical precedence) ecumenical theological education as a project for resistance and transformation today.

EC 20: Minding the Gaps: Safeguarding Gender Justice in Unity and Reconciliation

Current global realities, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and violent conflicts, have resulted in increased sexual and gender-based violence and widened the social and economic gap between men and women. These gaps present a distinctive challenge to the unity within the church, and the reconciliation we seek among all people. Recent World Council of Churches initiatives – including the Gender Justice Principles, the Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (DCSW) 20th Anniversary Commemoration Consultation strategies, and Women of Faith Pilgrim Team Visits – offer to the church a basis for programmatic work toward ending inequality and violence (building on the WCC’s history of gender justice work). This conversation invites the WCC and its member churches, to foster unity and reconciliation in relation to justice between men and women through its programs and leadership structure during the post-assembly period. This will promote inclusion and holistic development in church and society.

EC 21: Christian Ethics and Human Rights

WCC’s history is closely connected with that of modern international human rights law, starting with the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. However, in many parts of the world today the legitimacy of the principles and obligations expressed in international human rights law are being undermined and attacked as never before. Moreover, there is an increasingly evident diversity of perspectives within the ecumenical movement on the relationship between Christian faith principles and international human rights law. Drawing on the outcomes of a prior process of reflections, consultations, and publications (2020-2022), this Ecumenical Conversation will explore this issue from a range of theological and regional/cultural perspectives, and in light of the experiences of victims of human rights violations. This Ecumenical Conversation will seek to (re)establish an ecumenical consensus with regard to church engagement in promoting and protecting human rights, utilizing the instruments of international human rights law.

EC 22: Churches and moral discernment. Facilitating dialogue to build koinonia

How can churches enter into a constructive dialogue about disagreements on moral issues? The new Faith and Order study document “Churches and Moral Discernment. Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia” invites churches to explore together the different dimensions of moral discernment. The uniqueness of this study is that, based on the self-descriptions of diverse church traditions and the study of historical examples, it proposes a tool that helps to navigate the landscape of moral discernment in the churches. It provides a detailed study of the relationship between continuity and change. The “conscience of the church” is proposed as a key concept that articulates the living engagement of the church with new challenges. The ecumenical conversation at the WCC Assembly will discuss insights from this study together with a sharing from contemporary processes in local churches, regional ecumenical bodies and dialogues within and between Christian World Communions.

EC 23: Inspired by the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace – Moving together by the Love of Christ

Participants in this Ecumenical Conversation will share inspiring stories of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) and reflect together both on the spiritual grounding of the PJP and four existential topics that show how people experience the impact of violence, structural injustice, and the climate crisis as threats to their communities and the physical basis of their lives: Truth and trauma, land and displacement, gender justice, and racial justice. These four topics are rooted in the authentic and transformative spiritualities of local communities. Seen together as cornerstones of a theology of companionship, they could become an inspiration for the ecumenical movement in the coming years.

Specialized Ministries Pre-Assembly

Information about the WCC Specialized Ministries pre-assembly: 9-10 March, 2022

Specialized Ministries message to the WCC 11th Assembly
Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly

Information about the Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly: 29-30 August 2022

Just Community of Women and Men message to the WCC 11th Assembly
Indigenous Peoples Pre-Assembly

Information about the Indigenous Peoples Pre-Assembly: Karlsruhe, 28-30 August 2022

Indigenous Peoples message to the WCC 11th Assembly
Ecumenical Youth Gathering

Information about the Ecumenical Youth Gathering and WCC Youth pre-assembly: 27-30 August, 2022

Ecumenical Youth Gathering message to the WCC 11th Assembly
Inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly

Information about the Orthodox Pre-Assembly of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches: Cyprus, 9 - 16 May, 2022

Report of the Inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly Consultation
Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network Pre-Assembly

Information about the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network Pre-Assembly: Karlsruhe, 29 - 30 August 2022.

Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network message to the WCC 11th Assembly
Video series: Assemblies of the WCC

Walk through the WCC assemblies of the past in a series of short videos, beginning with the first in 1948 up to the WCC 11th Assembly in 2022.

10th Assembly, Busan 2013
Busan report cover

Place: Busan, Republic of Korea

Dates: 30 October - 8 November 2013

Theme: God of life, lead us to justice and peace

Member churches: 345

In the message of the WCC 10th Assembly, participants offered this affirmation:

“We share our experience of the search for unity in Korea as a sign of hope in the world. This is not the only land where people live divided, in poverty and richness, happiness and violence, welfare and war. We are not allowed to close our eyes to harsh realities or to rest our hands from God’s transforming work. As a fellowship, the World Council of Churches stands in solidarity with the people and the churches in the Korean peninsula, and with all who strive for justice and peace.”

Read the official report of the 10th Assembly

Visit the 10th Assembly website

9th Assembly, Porto Alegre 2006
porto alegre cover

Place: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Dates: 14-23 February 2006

Theme: God in your grace, transform the world

Member churches: 348 

The 2006 assembly was one of the most representative gatherings of Christians ever held - with over 4,000 participants from ecumenical organizations and groups, delegates from 348 member churches, observers and visitors from all around the world.

Addressing the core issues of Christian unity, the Assembly agreed on a new text, "Called to be the One Chruch," and urged that WCC and its member churches give priority to the questions of unity, catholicity, baptism and prayer. Other key issues discussed at plenary sessions were Economic justice, Christian identity and religious plurality, and Youth overcoming violence.

Also, delegates adopted a substantially revised Constitution and Rules which moved the WCC to decision-making based on consensus and which amended membership criteria. Steps were taken to strengthen active involvement of youth (under 30 years) in the life and work of the Council.

Read the official report of the 9th Assembly

Visit the 9th Assembly website

8th Assembly, Harare 1998
Harare report

Place: Harare, Zimbabwe 

Dates: 3-14 December 1998 

Theme: Turn to God - Rejoice in Hope 

Member churches: 339 

Half a century after the official foundation of the WCC, its member churches renewed their commitment to stay together, and delegates promised to remain in solidarity with their African hosts.

The Assembly decided to set up a commission on the participation of the Orthodox churches in the WCC. It backed the creation of a "Forum of Christian Churches and Ecumenical Organizations" which could extend the ecumenical outreach far beyond WCC member churches.

Delegates and assembly visitors participated in more than 600 contributions to a three-day "Padare" in which subjects ranged from Evangelical-Orthodox dialogue to human sexuality. It was preceded by a Decade Festival of churches in solidarity with women.

Read the official report of the 8th Assembly

Learn more about the 8th Assembly

7th Assembly, Canberra 1991
Harare report cover

Place: Canberra, Australia 

Dates: 7-20 February 1991

Theme: Come, Holy Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation 

Member churches: 317 

1991 was the first time a theme had explicitly invoked the third person of the Trinity, and it did so in the context of the physical universe. Sections were organized under four sub-themes:

- "Giver of life - sustain your creation!"

- "Spirit of truth - set us free!"

- "Spirit of unity - reconcile your people!"

- "Holy Spirit - transform and sanctify us!"

Read the official report of the 7th Assembly

6th Assembly, Vancouver 1983
Vancouver report cover

Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Dates: 24 July to 10 August 1983 

Theme: Jesus Christ - the Life of the World 

Member churches: 301 

At this assembly on the western shores of Canada, a renewed emphasis on common worship was experienced under the great white tent standing beneath the summer sun. Hope for closer fellowship arose from dialogue on the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM) document, and such ecumenical experiments as the Lima Liturgy. At the same time, the nuclear threat and neo-colonialism glowered like dark clouds on the horizon. The Assembly proclaimed its theme: "Jesus Christ - the Life of the World", and carried out its work in the following issue groups:

- Witnessing in a divided world

- Taking steps towards unity

- Moving towards participation

- Healing and sharing life in community

- Confronting threats to peace and survival

- Struggling for justice and human dignity

- Learning in community

- Communicating credibly

Read the official report of the 6th Assembly

5th Assembly, Nairobi 1975
Nairobi report cover

Place: Nairobi, Kenya 

Dates: 23 November to 10 December 1975 

Theme: Jesus Christ Frees and Unites 

Member churches: 285

"Jesus Christ frees and unites" the delegates sang in the midst of Nairobi's life:

people from around the earth, standing before God in their captivities and disunities and naming a divine possibility.

The assembly section titles echo concerns of that turbulent decade:

- Confessing Christ today

- What unity requires

- Seeking community

- Education for liberation and community

- Structures of injustice and struggles for liberation

- Human development

Read the official report of the 5th Assembly

4th Assembly, Uppsala 1968
Uppsala report cover

Place: Uppsala, Sweden

Dates: 4-20 July 1968 

Theme: Behold, I make all things new 

Member churches: 235 

The assembly at Uppsala bore further testimony to the expanding membership of the Council, as well as the fresh breezes of Vatican II that brought Catholic observers to participate in the meeting and discuss further opportunities for cooperation. Sections were organized under the headings:

- The Holy Spirit and the catholicity of the church

- Renewal in mission

- World economic and social development

- Towards justice and peace in international affairs

- Worship

- Towards new styles of living

Read the official report of the 4th Assembly

3rd Assembly, New Delhi 1961
New Delhi report

Place: New Delhi, India 

Dates: 19 November to 5 December 1961 

Theme: Jesus Christ - the Light of the World 

Member churches: 197

Best remembered for the incorporation of the International Missionary Council into the WCC, and the admission of 23 new member churches, including significant sectors of Eastern Orthodoxy and churches from newly independent nations, the Assembly focused on the theme "Jesus Christ - the Light of the World" with three sections on witness, service and unity.

Read the official report of the 3rd Assembly

2nd Assembly, Evanston 1954
2nd Assembly of the WCC

Place: Evanston, Illinois, USA

Dates: 15-31 August 1954

Theme: Christ - the Hope of the World

Member churches: 161

The only WCC assembly to date held in the United States, it to some degree reflected - and certainly reflected on - the East-West tensions of the cold war. The Assembly divided its work into six sections:

  • Our oneness in Christ and our disunity as churches
  • The mission of the church to those outside her life
  • The responsible society in a world perspective
  • Christians in the struggle for world community
  • The churches amid racial and ethnic tension
  • The laity: the Christian in his vocation

Read the official report of the 2nd Assembly

1st Assembly, Amsterdam 1948
1st WCC Assembly

Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Dates: 22 August to 4 September 1948 

Theme: Man's Disorder and God's Design 

Member churches: 147

It was on the 23rd of August 1948, in Amsterdam, that the World Council of Churches was officially founded. 147 churches from different confessions and many countries came together to commit themselves to the ecumenical movement.

At the assembly in Amsterdam, four sections were organized to examine aspects of the theme  "Man's Disorder and God's Design":

  • the universal church in God's design,
  • the church's witness to God's design,
  • the church and the disorder of society,
  • the church and the international disorder.

Read the official report of the 1st Assembly

Christival in Karlsruhe
Timetable of the WCC 11th Assembly

Timetable of the WCC 11th Assembly, 31 August – 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany

Highlights of the assembly programme

Prayer life

At the heart of the global ecumenical gathering of delegates and visitors to the WCC 11th Assembly was its spiritual life. Each morning attendees began the day with interconfessional prayer. The main elements of these opening spiritual moments were singing, reading Scripture, praying, and reflecting on the key biblical theme and message for the day. 

Other spiritual life moments were offered throughout each day. They included Home Group Bible studies, where delegates had the opportunity to engage more deeply with the biblical text for the day. 

Having access to Home Groups, which were small in size and language-structured, ensured that the discussions that unfolded within these settings were informed by all the participants. These Home Groups ended with a short midday prayer. As each day ended, there was another opportunity for delegates and visitors to participate in evening confessional prayers. This allowed all to experience a spiritual moment that reflected just a sample of the extensive spiritual diversity that is the fellowship of the Council. 

As the business sessions and thematic plenaries of the assembly unfolded, the spiritual life components were offered to nurture the soul and renew the spirit as we sang, prayed, and - through moments of silence and reflection - discerned the future direction and action of the global ecumenical movement. 

We believe our times of worshipping together have served to affirm where God is leading us, as together we declared that Christ’s love is moving the world to reconciliation and unity.

Thematic plenaries

The daily thematic plenary focused on a particular aspect of the assembly theme. The assembly planning committee cooperated with the assembly worship planning committee to ensure a thematic as well as spiritual flow.

Business plenaries

Business plenaries were the place where delegates from WCC member churches addressed the assembly and drew an overview of the WCC’s work until the next assembly. Their role was to elect the new central committee and WCC presidents.

Home groups

Taking place every morning after the biblical reflection and thematic plenary of the day, Home Groups offered people an opportunity to engage with one another by reflecting on prayer, biblical passages, plenaries, and other encounters.

All participants that had a right to speak at the assembly were allocated to a Home Group. Home Groups were comprised of participants from across regions, confessions, professions, age, “old-timers” and “newcomers” at the assembly.

The purpose of home groups was to:

- Enable a meaningful and trans-contextual engagement with the daily theme and biblical message

- Provide space for mutual exchange and learning

- Capture a key insight per day for dissemination at the assembly (200 characters)

- Share the outcome of joint trans-contextual discernment with WCC governing bodies, member churches, and partners (800 - 1000 words per home group)

Assembly theme

The theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches was "Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity".

The assembly gathered amidst perplexities, anxieties, and fundamental questions about the way we inhabit the earth, make sense of our lives, live in society, and accept responsibility for future generations. These questions have been amplified by the global COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, the climate emergency, and manifestations of racism worldwide, which have further revealed structural economic inequality, gender discrimination, and other forms of injustice in our societies and in our world.

In this fragmented and fractured world, the assembly theme was an affirmation of faith that Christ’s love transforms the world in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Against the powers of destruction and sin, the assembly theme affirmed that the love of the compassionate, crucified, and risen Christ is at the heart of this world. It was a radical call to the churches to work together unceasingly and with people of other faiths and all those of good will for just peace and reconciliation. It was a call for the visible unity of the church to become​ a prophetic sign and a foretaste of the reconciliation of this world with God, and the unity of humankind and all creation.

Assembly symbol
Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity

Links to download: PDF JPG

Created as a visual expression of the assembly theme, the symbol’s design was also inspired by the dynamic expressions and variety of the ecumenical movement in its search for Christian unity and promotion of justice and peace.

Inspired by the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” the WCC fellowship came together as a whole in prayer and celebration at the 11th Assembly. We drew renewed energy for the WCC’s work far beyond the event itself. That’s why, anytime the assembly symbol was used, it also offered space for the WCC official logo.

The symbol was formed by four elements:

  • The cross - the assembly theme is an affirmation of faith that Christ’s compassionate love transforms the world in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Placed prominently in the symbol, the cross is an expression of the love of Christ and a reference to the first article of the WCC Constitution.[1]
  • The dove - a universal symbol of peace and reconciliation, the dove stands for the Holy Spirit and also refers to deep biblical expressions of hope.
  • The circle - the whole inhabited world (oikoumene) – brings a sense of unity, a common goal, and a new beginning. The circle is also inspired by the concept of reconciliation. As Christians, we have been reconciled with God through Christ, and as churches, we are agents of forgiveness and love both within and outside our communities. The ecumenical movement has responded to the call for unity and reconciliation through resolute work and action for a more just and participatory society and the care for God’s Creation.
  • The way - we all come from different places, cultures and churches; we walk different paths responding to God’s call; we are all on a pilgrimage through which we encounter others and join together on a journey of justice and peace. The different paths represent our various journeys, the movement, freedom and vibrancy of life that drive the WCC and its member churches around the world.


The vision of the WCC Stewards Programme has always been large. W.A. Visser’t Hooft, the first general secretary of the WCC, saw the stewards as bearers of the future. He wanted young people to encounter ecumenism and its leaders, so that they might one day become its leaders. 

The Stewards Programme is an ecumenical introduction. For many people it is been the first, or at least, an early step, that led to greater involvement in ecumenism and opportunities for learning and growth. 

Young people who serve as stewards are not merely observers of meetings or assemblies but also participants. They are the circulatory and respiratory systems of the ecumenical movement - and they are vital to its life.

At the WCC 11th Assembly, there was a group of young people, ages 18-30 years old, participating as stewards. The Stewards Programme brought together 160 young people from different countries, regions, and traditions for an opportunity to contribute to the operations of the assembly and to participate in ecumenical learning, encounters, and discussions.

There are three aspects of the Stewards Programme:

a) intentional ecumenical formation designed to build awareness, develop leadership, and strengthen global solidarity;

b) participation and contribution of young people to major WCC meetings as “yeast of the ecumenical loaf”;

c) support the inspiring and efficient flow of the meeting.

A steward is an invaluable ecumenical resource. In order to become a steward, an applicant had to go through a competitive selection process in which church and ecumenical involvement were prioritized. WCC looked for young people capable of integrating their experience back into their local contexts, motivated to multiply their ecumenical enthusiasm, and ready to “do ecumenism” locally.

Therefore, stewards are not merely helpers or an unqualified labour force. They are young persons committing time, energy, skills, knowledge, and visions to building the ecumenical movement. They are leaders in their churches, communities, organizations, and in the ecumenical movement, and they are, or will be, the ones taking the ecumenical movement forward.

Stewards’ working areas at the assembly included floor management, communication, worship, documentation, and registration. Stewards came to serve the meeting as a whole. Therefore, they were not requested to perform tasks by individual delegates or other participants unless this was coordinated through the WCC staff working with the stewards. 

During the assembly, stewards carried out their tasks but also – when off-duty – participated in worship, confessional meetings, and small group discussions. Whenever possible, they were given the opportunity to speak and share their experience. They contribute a lot!