World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and a WCC delegation are visiting member churches in China from 7-16 January.
In a brief interview, Tveit describes the joy of uniting with the China Christian Council to begin celebration of the WCC’s 70th anniversary.
By Marianne Ejdersten*
Q: What’s the purpose of the visit to China?
Tveit: The purpose is to strengthen relations between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the China Christian Council (CCC), our member church there. This is a church that has experienced a lot of changes and significant growth, to become the largest Protestant church of today. It is important to strengthen their ecumenical relations and the relevant connections and contributions to their life from the ecumenical movement and particularly from the WCC. The visit is planned as a pastoral visit to the national church and some of their institutes, schools and local churches.
Q: Why is China an inspiring starting point for celebrating the WCC’s 70th anniversary?
Tveit: The CCC has a significant place as any other member church in the WCC. Given their history, their size and their relatively strong involvement in the WCC already, it is important to work closely with them. As we embark on the year of the 70th anniversary of the WCC, the church in China is a good place to start to reflect on the past and the future role of the WCC for them and other churches.
Q: What has been the strongest impression so far?
Tveit: It has been very significant to see the commitment to sharing the gospel as good news for all and the readiness to serve all in the values of the gospel. This is the attitude among those who work in the church, nationally, in the province and locally, lay and ordained, and to sense this has been a great inspiration. Maybe even more so in the meetings with students. The exceptional and warm hospitality has been a convincing sign of the strong relationship with the WCC and our member churches.
Media contacts: Please contact WCC director of communication Marianne Ejdersten; e-mail: email@example.com, cell phone: +41 79 507 63 63