Youth participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC) brings a lot of challenges ahead of the young people involved in the ecumenical movement. It is possible to find reflections about the lack of participation of young people in WCC since the first assembly.
Youth participation is still an issue raised by youth leaders from the Central Committee, the ECHOS Commission, and people who believe that this is not a future concern, but a relationship that needs to be stimulated and improved every day.
The youth participants present at the Central Committee of the WCC believe that there aren’t many young people joining the ecumenical movement due to concerns about theological and ecumenical formation, a relationship based on trust and, most of all, the fact that churches need to see young people as potential leaders and decision-makers.
Living the fellowship through a youth perspective means building bridges between different generations, acknowledging the power of passion and engagement that young people can hold in order to change the reality, and understanding the new challenges faced nowadays.
The youth present at Central Committee believe the young people are socially aware of the issues, and it’s necessary to involve them in the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace by talking about practical situations.
The youth engagement is achieved once there is mutual trust between the young people and the churches, by providing information, ecumenical formation, and by calling young leaders to represent churches in WCC.
The stewards are young participants who can learn about the ecumenical
movement and create a network inside the WCC fellowship.
Lidia Lebang from Indonesia will study at the Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey in order to help young Indonesians who are being radicalized by fundamentalist religious groups.
ECHOS is the youth representative commission that strengthens networking, communication, and ecumenical formation for young people.
Young people can bring different contextual experiences and contribute to promoting the unity between generations.