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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.
Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

CCIA vice-moderator Emily Welty presents interfaith statement at NPT Review Conference, 2015. © Daniela Varano/ICAN

The tasks of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) include:

  • advice on public policy and advocacy
  • advice on programmatic directions, including analysis of systemic issues that underlie injustice and social transformation
  • addressing particular programmatic and policy issues, with a special emphasis on the aim of promoting a peaceful and reconciling role of religion in conflicts and on the promotion of inter-religious dialogue as a framework for community building, faith sharing and understanding.

The CCIA dates back to 1946. However, its scope was much extended in 2006, when its merger with three other WCC advisory bodies was decided: the Commission of the Churches on Diakonia and Development (CCDD), the Commission of the Churches on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (CJPC), and the Reference Group on Inter-religious Relations and Dialogue (IRRD).

Structure

The Commission of the Churches on International affairs (CCIA) comprises 35 people nominated by churches and regional ecumenical organizations to advise the WCC. These men and women from around the world are church leaders, pastors, laypersons and academics with expertise on areas relevant to the commission. They usually meet once a year. 

Working groups on specific topics come together and stay in contact in-between commission meetings, mainly through the internet. They thus respond to the challenge of providing WCC staff and governing bodies with timely advice despite the complexity of issues. 

Working groups are not established on a permanent basis but respond to urgent challenges faced by the WCC and the ecumenical movement. Currently, there are eight working groups:

  • Africa;
  • Economic justice;
  • Human rights & freedom of religion or belief;
  • Middle East;
  • Nuclear disarmament;
  • Reform of international governance;
  • Religion and violence;
  • Statelessness, refugees & migration.

Methods

Particularly in the WCC programme areas of public witness and diakonia, and inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, the CCIA offers an ecumenical forum, information and leadership on national and international problems to WCC member churches, their agencies and other ecumenical partners.

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. 

The CCIA also assists the WCC in preparing public statements, appeals to state authorities and messages of support and solidarity to churches and others engaged in struggles for justice and peace. It helps the WCC governing bodies identify challenges to the churches and to guide them to shape a coherent ecumenical response.

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