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Observing the fifth anniversary of "Christian Witness"

28 June 2016

28 June 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the significant document Christian Witness in a Multi-religious World: Recommendations for Conduct, a milestone in ecumenical agreement about mission and evangelism.

Produced in collaboration between the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Evangelical Alliance, the document was launched on June 28 2011 with the support of Rev. Dr Olav FykseTveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches;  His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, then Secretary-General of the World Evangelical Alliance.

The document was notable not simply for what it said but also for the extent of collaboration between these three bodies, which between them represent most of the Christian population of the world.

Christian Witness offers a series of key principles, rooted in the Christian understanding of the nature of mission, as guidance for the methods and ethics of Christian evangelism, particularly in religiously pluralistic contexts. It has been widely disseminated since its publication throughout the Christian world, and it has formed the basis of much constructive ecumenical study of related issues.

Said Tveit, “We celebrate this anniversary. The signal importance of the Christian Witness document lies in its applying Gospel principles to the vital work of mission and evangelism. The broad agreement it captures among Christians everywhere promises a future of living and proclaiming the Gospel  authentically—with integrity, charity, compassion, and service.”

To mark the fifth anniversary of the document, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held a workshop in Rome, 21 June 2016, to which were invited participants from other religions, as well as representatives of the WCC and WEA. The workshop explored possible further steps that might be taken to build on the work to date, ideally involving input from adherents of other religions.

More information:

Press release of Vatican-sponsored anniversary commemoration

Christian Witness in a Multi-religious World

Christian self-understanding amid many religions