In the article, Prove highlights discussions at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe last year, which denounced Russia’s war against Ukraine as illegal, unjustifiable, and “incompatible with God’s very nature and will for humanity and against our fundamental Christian and ecumenical principles,” and rejected the “misuse of religious language and authority to justify armed aggression and hatred.”
At the same time, the assembly observed that “WCC has a critical role to play in accompanying its member churches in the region and as a platform and safe space for encounter and dialogue in order to address the many pressing issues for the world and for the ecumenical movement arising from this conflict.”
Based on the developments last year, the article observes that there is a chance that ecumenical peacebuilding could in 2023 build upon the kind of humanitarian dialogue that produced the Black Sea Grain Initiative—focusing on the humanitarian consequences of conflict—and add a further dimension focusing on some fundamental conflict drivers.
“Given the fundamental issues of moral reference and identity that are in conflict and the salience of religion in this context, the WCC’s role may have a particular significance in the search for a peace that is more than the mere absence of conflict,” writes Prove. “Moreover, the ‘stress test’ of the WCC’s recent assembly gives a sufficient minimum basis on which to proceed.”
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Read the full article “Ecumenical peacebuilding: Collision or convergence in Ukraine?”