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The World Council

of Churches


An article in Pears Cyclopaedia 83rd Edition (1974), page J55


The World Council of Churches, a union of Christian Churches from all over the world (including the Churches of the Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox traditions, but excluding the Roman Catholic Church), engaged in extending Christian mission and unity throughout the world. All Churches which "accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour" are eligible. This modern ecumenical movement stems from the great World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910. The World Council was founded in 1948 and meets for consultation from time to time; the fourth assembly met at Uppsala in 1968 to discuss the theme "All Things New". In 1973 it sold all its holdings in companies trading with, or investing in, countries of Southern Africa.

An article from Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopaedia (1999)


WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, international organization of some 306 Protestant, Anglican, Old Catholic, and Orthodox churches, founded in Amsterdam in August 1948 to promote ecumenical fellowship, service, and study. It is defined in its constitution as "a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour 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."

Principal authority is vested in an assembly of delegates, which meets every six or seven years. Between assembly meetings authority is exercised by a 150-member central committee, which is elected by the assembly and normally meets annually. A permanent secretariat, headed by a general secretary, administers the programs of the council, whose decisions are not binding on the member churches. Council headquarters is in Geneva, and an office is also in New York City.

Major units of the organization include commissions on Inter-Church Aid, Refugee, and World Service; Faith and Order; World Mission and Evangelism; the Churches' Participation in Development; the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs; Dialogue with People of Living Faiths; Women in Church and Society; Youth; Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation; the Christian Medical Commission; and the Program to Combat Racism.

Part of an article in Encyclopaedia Brittanica (1999)


National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

An agency of Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox denominations that was formed in 1950 in the United States by the merger of 12 national interdenominational agencies. The National Council of Churches is the largest ecumenical body in the United States, with a membership of about 40 million in the late 20th century. Its international...

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has associate (non voting) members. One of these is a major Sabbath-keeping church. The latter has been there since the inception of the Council, and were possibly even connected with one of the merging organisations prior to the Council inception.

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