World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke on “The Oneness of the Ecumenical Movement” at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) 11th General Assembly, being held in Kigali, Rwanda from 1-7 July.
“In the middle of violence, hunger and despair, people are longing for just peace,” said Tveit. “The church in South Sudan, together with the member churches and partners of the AACC and the WCC, and also in close cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church, are amplifying the voice of the South Sudanese people on the African continent and in other parts of the world.”
Without question, there are polarizing factors and anti-ecumenical dynamics in and among the churches, Tveit continued. “The ugly threats of racism and structural injustice continue to be divisive forces.”
The theme of the AACC assembly, “Respecting the Dignity and God’s image in every human being,” is an unambiguous message, reflected Tveit. “Are we the prophetic sign and foretaste of one humanity and the unity of all creation that we are meant to be?” he asked. “Mutual love is the hallmark of discipleship.”
“The attitude of love is more than softness and gentleness; it is the reliable and solid relationship in mutual accountability which allows also for expression of disagreement and differences for the sake of necessary clarity,” he said.
The church is called to be an expression of love in a broken and sinful world, Tveit concluded.