“I am confident that the Faith and Order World Conference will draw churches closer to celebrate the unity we already share, strengthen our fellowship, and promote profound discussions about the future of the ecumenical movement,” WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay said in his report to the WCC’s executive committee, meeting 8–14 November in Abuja, Nigeria.
“Approaching from the interconnected vantage points of faith, unity, and mission, the conference will explore the theme, ‘Where Now for Visible Unity?’,” reported Pillay.
In a 21 November letter, Pillay thanked the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, H.H. Pope Tawadros II, for the invitation to host the conference in Egypt, saying the invitation had been received by the WCC executive committee with gratitude and appreciation.
World Conferences on Faith and Order have been held since 1927 at key moments in the history of the ecumenical movement, and Pillay said in his report to the WCC executive committee that the 2025 conference would be a central highlight of the WCC’s commemoration of Nicaea.
Organized by the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order, the conference will take place from 24 to 28 October 2025 at the Logos Papal Center of the Coptic Orthodox Church, close to the St Bishoy Monastery at Wadi El Natrun, near Alexandria, Egypt. Pillay described the location as being of historic and spiritual significance, especially concerning the preservation of the Nicene faith.
“The contemporary situation in the Middle East emphasizes the critical importance of the unity the commemoration underscores. This unity is more than just an abstract idea. It is a lived reality that we need,” said Pillay.
The conference will be enriched, he said, by the participation of young people from around the world attending the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI), whose programme would be woven into the conference’s agenda.
In 325 in Nicaea, now İznik in present-day Türkiye, bishops representing the whole of Christendom gathered at the first Ecumenical Council to seek consensus on the central meaning of Christian belief and to affirm their faith in the triune God.
In its invitation to the WCC, the Coptic Orthodox Church said it was preparing a number of activities in celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea and referred to the role of St Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–298 to 373) in defending the theology that was agreed at the council.
“With the many hardships we face today, it is very important to remind our believers to live the Apostolic faith together,” the church stated.
Learn more about the Nicaea 2025: www.oikoumene.org/nicaea2025