“As we are all acutely aware, we live in a time of converging crises of proliferating conflicts, renewed risks of nuclear war, growing social polarization and division, spiralling economic inequality, the persistent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and accelerating loss of the Earth’s biodiversity, all compounded by the global climate emergency that is already upon us,” he said. “The life in abundance envisaged by God for all God’s people, and indeed the very future of the living planet created by God, are imperilled by this unprecedented constellation of existential challenges.”
All Christians, together with all people of good will, are called urgently to respond to these threats, said Pillay.
“Your assembly anticipates and looks forward to the NCCK’s centenary next year,” Pillay said. “Indeed, over its long history, NCCK has a distinguished heritage of ecumenical witness and action against dictatorship and militarism, for peace, for care for creation, and for human rights for all.”
That heritage remains an inspiration for the wider global ecumenical movement, Pillay noted.
“In addition to the NCCK’s centenary, 2024 will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Tozanso consultation, the pivotal event in the history of ecumenical efforts for peace, reconciliation and reunification on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “Despite – or because of – the current re-escalation of confrontation and tensions in the region, the WCC remains deeply committed to that vision, and to supporting inter-Korean leadership for peace and reunification of the divided Korean people.”
Pillay concluded: “In the meantime, may the love and peace of our compassionate Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be upon you, and continue to guide and empower you,” he concluded.