Ukraine war savagery will loom over World Council of Churches assembly

Richard Ostling

By Richard Ostling, Religion Unplugged

If Russian invaders continue their current aggression, how much of Ukraine will be turned to rubble, and how many innocent civilians will be dead by Aug. 31?

That’s opening day for the 11th Global Assembly in the 74-year history of the World Council of Churches. COVID willing, the delegates from 352 Protestant and Orthodox church bodies will be joined by thousands of observers, including Catholic and evangelical Protestant representatives.

The WCC has gotten little media ink in North America during recent times, but 2022 sparks obvious news interest in how the organization deals with the Ukraine imbroglio at the assembly, which runs through Sept. 8 in Karlsruhe, Germany.

This is a critical moment for the WCC, Orthodoxy and global Christian unity. The Russian Orthodox Church, some of whose leaders have made public statements backing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war, is by far the WCC’s biggest member.

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