Voices and visits from young people, news from WCC member churches, and stories of challenges and hopes rang through WCC communications.
A growing audience
During 2023, the WCC website attracted 1.5 million visitors worldwide. With 185,000 visits, January was the month when the website was visited most as many readers clicked into news and resources related to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
With an average of 70 news articles published online monthly, the WCC published more than 800 articles in 2023, including news, feature stories, and interviews.
In 2023, WCC social media channels saw an increase in their online audience, with the total number of fans and followers across all channels rising from 93,000 in 2022 to 97,000 in 2023. Instagram showed the most growth, adding 2,000 new followers due to the several campaigns and dedicated material published on the channel.
During the WCC central committee in June 2023, the WCC Instagram and YouTube channels carried observations and inspiration from young people in a customized dedicated effort to encourage input from younger generations.
Stories from that meeting and many others prophetically covered peacebuilding, interreligious dialogue, youth, and WCC missions in conflict regions.
The WCC’s “In-person audience” broke records, too, with the Visitors’ Programme attracting more than 600 visitors, including a high number of young visitors.
Many of those visitors appreciated the artistic storytelling exhibited in the Waterfall of Solidarity and Resistance. Over six meters wide and five meters long, the tapestry includes over 180 panels hand-crafted by people all over the world sharing personal pain and hope to overcome sexual and gender-based violence.
Stories like these also captured the interest of many readers globally. With 15,200 mentions in world media, the WCC’s prophetic voice reached across the world.
From the WCC weekly news summary, to YouTube, the WCC blog, social media, and the website, readers and listeners tuned into many WCC channels and favored a wide range of topics.
The WCC YouTube channel featured dozens of online productions, such as webinars, live events, prayer services, special interviews, and WCC video greetings to member churches and partners around the world. Viewers and readers tuned into 27 webinars, 54 interviews, 46 YouTube shorts, 21 live-streamed events, 18 WCC video greetings, and three live-streamed prayer services.
The WCC blog continued to be a space where reflections of Christians and people of good will from all over the world shared how they are engaging in promoting justice and peace. During 2023, the WCC received contributions from 31 voices, including academics, youth, church, and ecumenical leaders, and WCC staff.
On social media, WCC published about 2,300 posts throughout the year, averaging over six daily posts on its social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Instagram was particularly successful, with an 84% increase in the number of people seeing the posts compared to 2022.
Journals and publications
The WCC continued with the production of three journals which are published on its behalf by Wiley: The Ecumenical Review, International Review of Mission, and Current Dialogue. In 2023, The Ecumenical Review and International Review of Mission included articles that looked back to the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Ecumenical Review also included a thematic issue looking to the 1700th anniversary in 2025 of the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea, a key moment in the history of Christian faith.
A thematic issue of International Review of Mission focused on the decolonial task for ecumenical mission today, highlighting the need for repentance, reparation, and restorative justice, while Current Dialogue tackled the issue of Interreligious Engagement and Gender Justice.
In 2023, the WCC finalized 20 publications, including completing a mission centenary series, reports of the WCC 11th Assembly, several HIV response resources, and an Ecumenical International Youth Day Toolkit, among many others.
Language Service and Archives
The WCC Language Service established core teams for the WCC’s working languages—Spanish, French, and German in addition to English—and hired new interpreters for WCC events. The Language Service translated around 500 news reports, feature stories, and statements, as well as more than ten webinars.
WCC materials were also translated into additional languages—including Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, Ukrainian, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Indonesian, and sign language—for special peace building efforts.
The WCC Archives continued its digitization programme in collaboration with the library, adding the whole collection of the Ecumenical Press Service, published weekly from 1933 to 1994, on the Internet archive website, enabling researchers from all over the world to access a historical source for the ecumenical movement during the 20th century, and a witness of daily life of the WCC member churches. This project was made possible through a grant of American Theological Library Association.
In 2023, 70 people visited the archives for a total of 201 visit days. The WCC Archives also answered more than 100 requests from scholars.
In 2023, the Visitors' Programme at the Ecumenical Centre and Ecumenical Institute at Bossey attracted more than 600 visitors, showing significant growth, particularly with a high number of young visitors, compared to the preceding year. The WCC welcomed diverse groups for events and meetings. These included students from various schools and universities, university professors, bishops, ordinands, journalists, pastors, priests, government leaders, reverends, ambassadors, delegates, representatives from church organizations, religious leaders, and international organizations, as well as confirmation groups from different locations in Europe, and individuals expressing keen interest in visiting the Ecumenical Centre.