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Programme to Combat Racism began during apartheid, but xenophobia fight still churches’ focus

When the World Council of Churches (WCC) launched the Programme to Combat Racism after years of in-depth theological reflections and prayer in 1971, South Africa's insidious racist apartheid policies were in full throw. The programme brought the WCC into the world's spotlight. Yet racism did not start 50 years ago. And it did not end with the casting out of apartheid at the end of the 20th century. During that era, figures such as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela fought racism in society and the church.

Amid challenges facing the continent, churches in Africa “live” the upcoming WCC assembly theme

“Living Christ’s love as part of His body in Africa is taking responsibility of peacebuilding, addressing injustice and its root causes.” This was the resolve of church leaders in Africa as they reflected on how churches in the continent are living the upcoming World Council of Churches (WCC) assembly theme Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

“Voices from the fellowship” speak strongly for racial justice

Voices from the World Council of Churches (WCC) global fellowship are speaking out strongly against racism and for justice in an ongoing show of solidarity and action. These voices are amplifying the idea of a “conversion that will end all forms of racism and racial discrimination” set forth in a 3 June World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee Statement on Racial Justice in the USA.

Treating the underlying conditions

On May 24, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA hosted a memorial service for lives lost to COVID-19. In a time of physical distancing, the church ecumenical gathered online for “A Time to Mourn,” drawing thousands together to remember and lament. Grounded in our hope in the resurrection, the Rev. Elizabeth A Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, declared, “The body of Christ is COVID-positive.”