Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

WCC calls on churches everywhere to walk together, viewing their common life, their journey of faith, as a part of a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. We invite you to join in celebrating life and in taking concrete steps toward transforming injustices and violence.


Christians and their communities around the world are aware today, as never before, that life itself is in peril. So many dangers — climate change, certainly: but also poverty and economic injustice, threats to health and well-being, violence and war — endanger humanity and can drain our hope. Yet precisely for that reason, the shared faith and commitment of Christians everywhere are necessary, affirming the God of life and the resilient hope offered to us in the life, the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians are called to affirm, sustain, and protect life.

This is an ecumenical calling. One God of life, one creation, one humanity call the one church of Jesus Christ to commitment and engagement wherever peace and justice are threatened or destroyed.

As an expression of the worldwide Christian fellowship, the WCC calls on churches everywhere to walk together, viewing their common life, their journey of faith, as a part of a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. We invite you to join together with others in celebrating life and in taking concrete steps toward transforming injustices and violence.

The invitation to pilgrimage is therefore also a summons to a way of life and a transformative spirituality of justice and peace. To encounter the vulnerable, and to find oneself in a vulnerable place and becoming vulnerable to others, is to be purged of one’s own prejudices, preoccupations, and priorities — stripped down to face God and God’s own aim for the world. It is a transformative journey, a conversion to the needs of others and the vision of God.


Background texts: 

Walking Together

Theological Reflections on the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

What does it mean to go on pilgrimage?  And further: what does it mean for Christians around the world to understand their discipleship in terms of pilgrimage in God’s realm of justice and peace?

This engaging and inspiring volume, developed by the Theological Study Group of the World Council of Church’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, takes stock of the spiritual, social, and theological meanings of this global ecumenical initiative and its relevance to different regional, confessional, and generational contexts. The thirteen contributions are enlivened by personal stories of the authors and perspectives of the traditions they represent, and the volume offers constructive ways in which Christians can renew their notion of what it means to be authentically church today.

Bible studies on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

A series of Bible studies for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) reflects diverse examples and stories of different pilgrimages in the Bible and dialogue between the biblical contexts and contemporary contexts. It also reflects different aspects of pilgrimage and encourages readers to reflect and embark on their individual and community pilgrimages.

The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP), as the framework for the fellowship of member churches and ecumenical partners, is also meant to inspire personal and congregational engagement with concrete issues of social justice and peace.

Together, these Bible studies provide food for our journey. They can inform and animate congregational life as well as that of the whole fellowship. We invite congregations to use these Bible studies as they reflect on what it means to be on such a pilgrimage in their own context.

Luke 19:1-10 - "Acting in Justice as Jesus Taught Us", by María Eugenia León (Pilgrimage Bible study)

Justice is a topic widely discussed in different disciplines, and it nearly always includes an adjective that accompanies or complements it and helps us make sense of the type of justice under discussion. Some examples include retributive justice, punitive justice, restorative justice, transitional justice, etc. But beyond this theoretical discussion, what does it mean to act in a just way in daily life? In our path as Christian women and men, what does it mean to be just?

WCC Programmes

Luke 24: 13-35 - "You'll Never Walk Alone", by Fernando Enns (Pilgrimage Bible study)

On 23 August 2018, a great ecumenical event took place in Amsterdam, the city where the World Council of Churches was founded 70 years ago. Many international ecumenical guests came to celebrate the birthday of that “privileged instrument” of the ecumenical movement. A symposium was held in the university, a great service was celebrated in the Nieuwe Kerk in the city center, and guests were welcomed by the mayor of Amsterdam and local church representatives. And many Amsterdamers came to join the festivities. Everything was livestreamed and broadcast.

WCC Programmes

Luke 24: 13-35 - “Outside of their comfort zone”, by Jennifer Martin (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is dedicated to the accompaniment of persons as they move along their journey, regardless of what their current circumstance might be. At times persons may be so overwhelmed by their past and present that they are incapable to grasp the help which is at hand. Pilgrims often need a patient, listening ear before they can draw the strength to carry on with their physical and spiritual pilgrimages.

WCC Programmes

Luke 24:13-35 "The Walk to Emmaus", by Susan Durber (Pilgrimage Bible study)

There are all sorts of pilgrimages for which one plans and prepares, looks forward to and anticipates with excitement. This story in Luke 24:13-35 is nothing like that. This is a story about a walk that comes from grief and trauma, from profound disappointment and sorrow. It is a story that starts with the slow steps of the depressed and cast down. But it ends with the excited running of the redeemed, and the joy of finding life transformed.

WCC Programmes

Jonah 1:4-5 and 4:1-8 "Jonah and his Selective Ecological Concern", by Liz Vuadi Vibila (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The several climatic events in the Book of Jonah present all environmental concerns: the sea calming down (1:15), making a plant grow (4:6), and the sending of a worm (4:7), and all play a particular role in God’s plan. They are used in the text as divine emissaries, human begin is the only one to oppose God’s will in these dramatic scenes. The ecological problem and the attributes associated with the creatures remain a fundamental issue from Jonah to our current daily reality. The worm, a lowly creature, is elevated as well as the ephemeral plant. Accordingly, Jonah has to learn that the plant is appointed by God. The ecological reading on the Book of Jonah invites us to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in relation to the ecological justice.

WCC Programmes

Pilgrim Team Visits express solidarity with churches and people who live in contexts of violence, injustice, and oppression, strengthening the ecumenical network among the churches, national councils of churches and related organizations. As a journey participating in God’s mission, Pilgrim Team Visits seek a mutual transformation of people - both visitors and hosts – walking together on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.