World Council of Churches

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian inter-church organization founded in 1948 to work for the cause of ecumenism.[1] Its full members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, most jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Mennonite Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Moravian Church and the Reformed Churches, as well as the Baptist Churches and Pentecostal Churches.[1][2][3] Notably, the Catholic Church is not a full member, although it sends delegates to meetings who have observer status.[1][4] The WCC arose out of the ecumenical movement and has as its basis the following statement:

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, "so that the world may believe". (John 17:21)[5]

World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches logo
General secretaryRev. Professor. Ioan Sauca
Members350 (member churches)

The WCC describes itself as "a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service".[6] It has no head office as such, but its administrative centre is at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.[7] The organization's members include denominations which claim to collectively represent over 500 million people across the world in more than 110 countries.[8]

Many regional affiliates of the World Council of Churches, such as the Middle East Council of Churches and National Council of Churches in Australia, work for the cause of Christian unity at the domestic level, with member denominations including the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Lutheran Churches, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Methodist Churches, Anglican Communion, Reformed Churches, among others.[9][10]