“The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is a call for churches to be in solidarity with communities struggling for economic and social rights, racial and gender justice, and the protection of ecological commons,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Dr Prof. Ioan Sauca. “The World Social Forum is an important space to listen to their voices and to express and practice solidarity.”

Pierre George, representing Caritas International at the World Social Forum, reflected on why faith-based organisations should engage in the discussion.

"As faith-based organizations, we are attached to developing a social and political culture of activism and empowering popular organising, and we are well placed to see how religious beliefs can inspire and lead to social and political practices,” he said. “Also we can insist on the fact that the underlying values expressed in the World Social Forum principles are in line with the dignity of human beings and respect for creation."

As part of the World Social Forum, the WCC and faith-based groups will convene an online discussion on “Covideconomics for an Economy of Life and Climate Justice” on 29 January.

Founded in 2001 as an alternative to the World Economic Forum, the World Social Forum is a venue for the democratic debate of ideas and proposals, for exchanging experiences and for social movements, networks and civil society organisations to meet together. Its aim was—and still is—to explore and build alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation.

World Social Fourm 2021 programme