My column in the Finnish weekly “Uusi Tie” (14 October 2020) has produced a lot of comments and questions about my intentions with my writing, as well as about my commitment to the World Council of Churches’ core values. I deeply regret raising any doubts about the credibility of the world’s largest ecumenical organization and its core values, as well as about my own full commitment to those values.
Many comments have criticized in particular the second paragraph of the column, and I understand now why. I meant to say that in our normal day-to-day relations we would need to be more reconciling and tolerant and try to understand better our neighbour. I did NOT mean – and this is the crucial part missing in the column – that whenever there is an injustice, whatever it may be, that we should look the other way and resist from taking action. On the contrary, as a Christian fellowship, we must always stand up for what is right and just, and be prepared to take action against injustice, at legal level if needed.
For me, there is no question about the centrality of issues of peace, justice and dignity in today’s world. I certainly regret not mentioning that. There is no peace without justice.
The organization I serve, the World Council of Churches, is dealing daily with issues of gender equality, xenophobia, racial discrimination, and the exclusion of people with disabilities. On the global level, on all continents. I remain fully committed to promote justice and peace in our world of today as a concrete expression of our faith in the Triune God. This is what I believe in. I am proud to champion those values and I work for the World Council of Churches because of this.
Rev. Dr Risto Jukko
Director, Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
World Council of Churches