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Churches overcoming racism

WCC work on overcoming racism focuses on the theological and ecclesial challenges faced by the churches in dealing with racism in their midst
Churches overcoming racism

At the conference "Churches against Racism", 2009. © Jaap de Jager/Kerk in Actie

Overcoming racism and the need to focus attention on the life and dignity of its victims has been a major concern for the World Council of Churches over several decades. Regrettably, new forms of racism constantly emerge and racial violence is on the rise.

The WCC challenges the churches to address racism in their own structures and life, and draws on their work and experience in this struggle.

Related Events

Regional  Webinar On Racial Justice

Regional Webinar On Racial Justice

26 August 2019 On line

The thematic focus of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) in 2019 is Racism.The WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), organises a series of eight WCC CCIA regional expert Webinars on the issue of racism and racial justice from August to December 2019. The aim of the webinars is to explore how racism manifests itself in the respective regions, learn about the work that churches and ecumenical partners are doing in this respect, identify synergies and avenues for possible collaboration.

Continuing formation on Youth and Racism Awareness in Asia

Continuing formation on Youth and Racism Awareness in Asia

08 - 12 September 2019 Osaka, Japan

This event plans to engage 30 indigenous young people from around the world and 20 Asian young people to go deeper on the topic of racism and exchange experiences. Key reasons for gathering in Japan is to show concrete solidarity with Indigenous Communities in Japan, share stories and hear the issues that they are struggling with.

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Rev. Nathan Day Wilson is a pastor with the Disciples of Christ in the United States and currently holds the position as director of communications at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is associate editor and columnist for the Faith and Values section of the Indianapolis Star. Wilson was a lecturer at the seminar, “Equipping each other for Christian Witness in a multi-cultural and multi-faith world”, taking place at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute from 5-15 August.

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Related Documents

Address of Dr Fernard de Varennes-UN special rapporteur on Minority Issues to the Ecumenical Strategic Forum on Racism

At an Ecumenical Strategic Forum, convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 9-10 May, religious leaders examined the painful history of racism and also asked difficult questions about how churches may be accountable for racism today. Dr Fernard de Varennes, United Nations special rapporteur on Minority Issues, reflected that, just in the last few weeks, horrific massacres have occurred in a mosque in New Zealand, in churches and other targets in Sri Lanka, and in a synagogue in the United States. “There are many, too many more examples in recent years,” said de Varennes. “It saddens and disturbs me to say that intolerance of the other has almost become a new normal in some societies, often linked perhaps to insecurity, unease, the zeitgeist of our times being one perhaps of fear for the future – and as history unfortunately has shown much too often religious and other minorities are often used as scapegoats.”

"Remembering the legacy" - Baldwin Sjollema

At an Ecumenical Strategic Forum, convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 9-10 May, religious leaders examined the painful history of racism and also asked difficult questions about how churches may be accountable for racism today. Baldwin Sjollema, first director of the WCC Programme to Combat Racism, said that, today, many do not know or have forgotten about the past. “We seek to forget rather than to remember,” said Sjollema. “There is no doubt that the issue of refugees and asylum, of hospitality to and solidarity with people of different races, religions, cultures and sexual identities are part and parcel of the racism and discrimination today.”

Ecumenical Strategic Forum on Racism - Welcoming Remarks from the General Secretary

At an Ecumenical Strategic Forum, convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 9-10 May, religious leaders examined the painful history of racism and also asked difficult questions about how churches may be accountable for racism today. In welcoming remarks, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said that racism is an ongoing concern of the ecumenical movement. “So often racist behaviour stems from inherited hatred reinforced by self-interest and group identification,” he said. “Invariably it results in diminished prospects for its victims and even in generations of discrimination, gender violence, and poverty; and so race is a constant factor in all the other work you do.”