The conference, “Christian Perspectives on Human Dignity and Human Rights”, was organized jointly by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), United Evangelical Mission, and Evangelical Church in Germany.
The message calls on churches to “rediscover the rich biblical narratives that affirm human dignity, justice and the rule of law,” and urges “further theological reflection and discernment for responsible action.”
This means speaking the truth and advocating for the victims by bringing their reports and testimonies to the attention of national authorities and international mechanisms. Underscoring the message is the affirmation of the “enduring relevance of the Bible” as a dynamic resource for churches in their ongoing advocacy for the respect for human rights.
The message also urges churches to “engage with the differences in perspective and approach within the ecumenical movement in order to work towards common conclusions and recommendations for churches to reclaim the language of human rights, and to advocate for human rights and rule of law as an integral part of churches’ life and witness.”
Forty-seven conference participants from 22 countries acknowledged that advocating for universal human dignity and rights is part of striving for justice, peace and integrity of creation.
They urged churches to “strengthen the capacity among church members through training and empowerment to actively engage in human rights advocacy.”
The conference message, which will also be shared at the WCC 11th Assembly, calls for churches to collaborate ecumenically and to build interreligious bridges as well.
The message urges churches to “expose and challenge all forms of discrimination, injustice and abuse of power that undermine human dignity and human rights” and “discern criteria in relation to culture and tradition, so that while these values are cherished and nurtured, they shall never foster hatred, injustice or the rejection of the dignity of other human beings.”
Finally, the message urges churches to establish accountability structures, and to “acknowledge that human dignity is to be understood not in isolation from the integrity of the entire creation, affirming a foundational relationality of all creatures.”