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A HANDBOOK OF COUNCILS AND CHURCHES PROFILES OF ECUMENICAL RELATIONSHIPS

World Council of Churches


Table of Contents
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Part I Global
World Council of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Member churches of the World Council of Churches (list) . . . . . . . 6


Member churches by church family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Member churches by region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Global Christian Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Christian World Communions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Churches, Christian World Communions and Groupings of Churches . . . . 20


Anglican churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20


Anglican consultative council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Member churches and provinces of the Anglican Communion 22
Baptist churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Baptist World Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Member churches of the Baptist World Alliance . . . . . . . . 24
The Catholic Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Disciples of Christ / Churches of Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Member churches of the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative
Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
World Convention of Churches of Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Evangelical churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
World Evangelical Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
National member fellowships of the World Evangelical Alliance 36
Friends (Quakers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Friends World Committee for Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Member yearly meetings of the Friends World Committee
for Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Holiness churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Member churches of the Christian Holiness Partnership . . . . 43
Lutheran churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Lutheran World Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Member churches of the Lutheran World Federation . . . . . . 45
International Lutheran Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Member churches of the International Lutheran Council . . . . 48
Mennonite churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Mennonite World Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Member churches of the Mennonite World Conference . . . . 50

Methodist churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

World Methodist Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Member churches of the World Methodist Coouncil . . . . . . 54
Moravian churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Moravian Unity Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Member churches of the Moravian Unity Board . . . . . . . . 57
Old-Catholic churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
International Old-Catholic Bishops’ Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Member churches of the International Old-Catholic Bishops’
Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Orthodox Church (Eastern) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Eastern Orthodox churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Orthodox churches (Oriental) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Churches belonging to the Oriental Orthodox family . . . . . . 62
Pentecostal churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Pentecostal World Fellowship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Reformed churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
World Alliance of Reformed Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Member churches of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches 67
Reformed Ecumenical Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Member churches of the Reformed Ecumenical Council . . . . 72
Salvation Army . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Territories and Commands of the Salvation Army . . . . . . . . 74
Seventh-day Adventist Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
United and Uniting churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
List of United and Uniting churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Comparative Table I Christian World Communions / World Council


of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Comparative Table II Christian World Communions / World Council
of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Global Mission Communions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82


Community of Churches in Mission - Cevaa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82


Member churches of Cevaa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Council for World Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Member churches of the Council for World Mission . . . . . . 85
United Evangelical Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Member churches of the United Evangelical Mission . . . . . . 87

Part II Regional and National

Regional and National Councils and Conferences of Churches . . . . . . . . 91


Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Map of Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


All Africa Conference of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Member churches of the All Africa Conference of Churches . . 100
Organization of African Instituted Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Member churches of the Organization of African Instituted
Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Sub-regional Fellowships of Councils and Churches . . . . . . . . . . 109
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches in Africa 110

Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223


Map of Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224


Christian Conference of Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Member churches of the Christian Conference of Asia . . . . . 226
South Asian Council of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches in Asia . 228

Caribbean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313


Map of the Caribbean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314


Caribbean Conference of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
Member churches of the Caribbean Conference of Churches . 316
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches
in the Caribbean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317

Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339


Map of Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340


Conference of European Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341
Member churches of the Conference of European Churches . 342
Community of Protestant Churches in Europe - Leuenberg Fellowship 345
Member churches of the Community of Protestant Churches
in Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
Council of Christian Churches of an African Approach in Europe . . . 348
Member churches of the Council of Christian Churches
of an African Approach in Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349
Conference of Protestant Churches in Latin Countries of Europe . . . 351
Conference of Churches on the Rhine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches in Europe 352

Latin America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 481


Map of Latin America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482


Latin American Council of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 483
Member churches of the Latin American Council of Churches. 484
Latin American Evangelical Pentecostal Commission . . . . . . . . . . 487
Member churches of the Latin American Evangelical
Pentecostal Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 488
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches
in Latin America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 489

Middle East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523


Map of the Middle East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524


Middle East Council of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525
Member churches of the Middle East Council of Churches . . 526
Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
Member churches of the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical
Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 528
Countries – WCC member churches in the Middle East . . . . . . . . 528

North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 545


Map of North America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 546


Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches in North
America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 547

Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 581


Map of the Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 582


Pacific Conference of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583
Member churches of the Pacific Conference of Churches . . . 584
Countries – Councils of churches – WCC member churches
in the Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585
Alphabetical Index of Part I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 611
Index of Countries and Territories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612
Index of National / Christian / Ecumenical Councils / Federations of Churches 614
Index of Sub-regional Fellowships / Conferences / Councils . . . . . . . . . . 617
Index of Regional Ecumenical Organizations / Church Bodies . . . . . . . . . 618
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619

Foreword

It has often been said – and rightly so – that the World Council of Churches is first and foremost a fellowship of churches. This book, A Handbook of Churches and Councils – Profiles of Ecumenical Relationships, is a vivid illustration of that reality. The descriptions, lists, statistical data and other information presented in these pages give a striking picture of the extent and diversity of this community whose members are united by the confession that the Lord Jesus Christ is God and Saviour and by the resolve to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (in the words of the Basis of the WCC). The fellowship ranges from the smallest church – the Disciples of Christ in Argentina, with 700 faithful – to the largest – the Russian Orthodox Church, with 164 million members. It encompasses a Christian population of some 590 million people, in close to 150 countries in all regions of the world. It is comprised of over 520,000 local congregations served by some 493,000 pastors and priests, as well as countless elders, teachers, members of parish councils and others who take part daily in building the Body of Christ and in witnessing to the world, locally and globally.

The book that is before you is not simply a handbook of the member churches of the WCC. The Council is not a fellowship standing on its own. At all levels – global, regional and sub-regional, national and local – member churches interact with other churches which, for various reasons, are not formally part of the Coun-cil’s membership. The closer one comes to the local context of the churches, the broader this range becomes. The Catholic Church, which is not a member of the WCC, and Pentecostal churches making up less than 1 percent of membership within the WCC, participate – respectively – in 60 percent and close to 40 percent of existing national councils of churches. Many other churches that take part in the ecumenical movement without being members of the WCC appear on the lists of member churches of national councils and regional ecumenical organizations pre­sented in this book. By combining in one volume all the conciliar and confessional bodies and their membership, A Handbook of Churches and Councils – Profiles of Ecumenical Relationships demonstrates concretely the reach of the ecumenical movement and also shows how much broader it is than the WCC alone. It serves to remind us that ownership of the movement rests not only with the WCC but with all the partners, and ultimately with God.

We are pleased that this book becomes available just before the Ninth Assem­bly of the WCC, in the midst of reflection on ecumenism in the 21st century, discussion on reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement, and the process of building up the Global Christian Forum. Together with the report Mapping the Oikoumene and the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a comprehensive resource is at our disposal for the task ahead of us. Significantly, the survey of churches in ecumeni­cal relationships fully confirms the conclusion of the mapping study that the greatest participation and membership in ecumenical structures is at the national level. It would seem that the national level is also the place where the greatest potential exists for moving beyond the present boundaries of the ecumenical movement.

I hope that this book will be used widely, and that it will contribute to nurtur­ing, strengthening and expanding the relationships that bind us together, for the sake of our common participation in God’s mission.

Samuel Kobia General Secretary, World Council of Churches



Introduction

The purpose of this book is primarily to provide a comprehensive reference and source of information for those who labour daily in the churches and organizations that make up the ecumenical movement. It is hoped that, beyond that circle, the book will also serve all who have a passion for, or an interest in the movement. A Handbook of Churches and Councils – Profiles of Ecumenical Relationships replaces two earlier publications: the Handbook of WCC Member Churches, and the Directory of Christian Councils, both dating back to 1985.



The scope

The ecumenical movement has become much more complex than it was fifty, or even twenty, years ago. For this reason, the first matter to be considered when the project was launched in September 2004 was to define the scope of the book.

Firstly, it is a guide to churches, and to the conciliar and confessional bodies which are constituted by churches, nationally, regionally, and globally and with which the WCC is related. The latter implies that the book extends to a wider fel­lowship, beyond the constitutional membership of the WCC. On the other hand, it also means that a range of ecumenical organizations which are constituted oth­erwise than by churches, are not included. The decision to limit the content of the book is by no means a judgment on the role and importance of these other orga­nizations in the ecumenical movement.

Secondly, addresses of churches and organizations, and names of persons hold­ing leadership positions, have been left out. This information, which changes fre­quently, is available in the annually updated WCC Directory. Website addresses, on the other hand, are indicated, because they can provide rapid access to comple­mentary information.

Thirdly, descriptive profiles are presented of the WCC member churches, and of the global and regional bodies, churches and groupings of churches. For reasons of space, the profiles of the sub-regional and national councils of churches are lim­ited to the year of foundation, the basis of membership, and the list of member churches and organizations.

Fourthly, brief profiles have been included of the countries and territories where WCC member churches are located, but not of all countries where member churches may be present through their diaspora, migrant communities, or otherwise.



WCC membership

Membership in the World Council of Churches is by church, not by confession or country or any other consideration. Normally the member churches of the WCC are listed in alphabetical order according to their names in the English language. For pragmatic reasons, the listing is done per region in the eight geographical regions which are commonly used in the ecumenical movement: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and the Pacific. The presentation of the WCC member churches in this book follows the same regional division. In order to be able to combine the presentation of the churches with that of the national councils of churches (or similar national ecumenical bodies) and the country profiles in one volume, the format of sub-division per country (in some cases territory) has been chosen for this publication. It offers the advantage of clarity and is consistent with the distinction between the global, the regional (and sub-regional), national, and local levels of the ecumenical movement. This presentation does not imply any political judgment on the part of the WCC.

The number of WCC member churches at the time of publication of this book was 348 1. This number includes eight of the territorial churches in Germany, which upon their request were granted membership in their own right by the central committee of the WCC in 1950, alongside the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which is a founding member. These eight churches, all Lutheran, are still counted separately. In practice, all the 23 territorial churches are equally repre­sented in the WCC by the EKD; their profiles are presented in this book. Other examples of membership through one national body are the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, with 24 cantonal and two other churches, the United Evan­gelical Lutheran Church in India, with 11 churches spread over the country, and the Moravian Church in Tanzania with four provinces. Several member churches represent two in one, e.g. the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions in Austria which is composed of a Lutheran and a Reformed church, the Reformed Church in Romania, which is formed by two autonomous districts, the Moravian Church in America with two provinces, etc. The latest case in 2005 was that of the British and the European Continental provinces of the Moravian church, which applied for, and were granted joint membership as Moravian Church British Province and EFBU (these two have still their individual profiles in this book). The WCC encourages joint or grouped membership.

The number of countries and territories in which WCC member churches were located in 2005 is 121. This number is based on the addresses of the head offices of the churches. On the basis of the information surveyed for this book, it can be estimated that WCC member churches are present in close to 150 countries.



Two Parts

The book is made up of two parts: Part I, which contains information on global church bodies and major ecclesial traditions and groupings of churches; and Part II, in which regional church bodies, sub-regional fellowships or councils of churches, national councils of churches (or similar national bodies), and WCC member churches, are presented per region and per country or territory within the region. The description of each conciliar or confessional church body is followed by the list of its member churches (and where applicable, member organizations). Within these lists, the churches that are member churches of the WCC or indirectly part of the WCC membership, are indicated in italics. By indirect membership is meant churches which belong to a wider ecclesial or denominational structure, which is a member of the WCC, and is headquartered in a country different from the country where the church in question is located. Examples are the Orthodox dioceses or archdioceses in the diaspora, Anglican dioceses in some countries, the United Methodist churches in several countries other than the USA, etc.; the list is longer than these cases only. WCC member churches marked with an asterisk were associate member churches at the time of publication of this book. National coun-

Of these, 36 were associate member churches according to the Rules of the WCC at the time when this book was published. Proposed amendments to the Rules which would eliminate associate membership and create a new cat­egory are to be decided upon by the Ninth Assembly in February 2006.

cils of churches (or similar national bodies) preceded by an asterisk are councils in association with the WCC, a status which may be granted by the central commit­tee of the WCC if applied for by a national council or similar body.



Descriptions and data

As far as possible, the descriptions of the churches and the regional and global bodies are those offered and/or reviewed by these churches and organizations themselves. A simple and same format was proposed to all. Many of the profiles are entirely new, others are revised or updated versions of the descriptions in the 1985 Handbook. Descriptions that were too long have been summarized in order not to exceed one page; others have been supplemented with information taken from additional sources, e.g. websites or handbooks of Christian World Commu­nions. This explains to some extent the variations in length and nature of the pro­files. Some of the descriptions may reflect differing views of the history and life of the churches, e.g. between churches of the same tradition or in the same country, or between churches that have had a missionary relationship.

Statistics of church membership, number of churches, congregations, pastors, etc., are those given by the churches and organizations, unless otherwise indicated. WCC member churches have various ways of defining their membership: state churches in which virtually every citizen is baptized and thus counted as a member, churches which include in their membership persons who are baptized but not actively participating, churches in which only adult baptized or communicant mem­bers are counted, etc. No attempt has been made to classify the membership fig­ures in such categories, because agreed upon indicators to do so do not exist. Where available, information on international membership of churches which are present in more than one country or continent has been added.

The information on sub-regional and national conciliar church bodies has also been collected from the organizations concerned, supplemented in some cases with data from other sources. Not all councils of churches have a theologically for­mulated membership basis. Where applicable, it is therefore replaced by a mission statement or short summary of objectives. There is no precise record of all the national councils of churches and equivalent bodies in the world, nor a definition that would make it possible to establish such a list. The number of 122 recorded in this book does not prejudge the existence of several more which could be included. The same applies to the seven sub-regional fellowships, conferences and councils.



Country profiles and statistics

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. They are all more or less of the same format, com­prised of a few statistical data, some historical and factual information, and some church-related indications. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

The following sources for the statistics have been used throughout, unless men­tioned otherwise:

Population World Christian Database (projections for 2005)

Gross National Income

per capita in US $ World Bank Atlas Method (2004)

Classification United Nations World Economic and Social Survey, 2004

Religions WCC Prayer Cycle

Christianity World Christian Database (projections for 2005).

The WCC does not endorse any particular source of statistical information. The statistics of the World Christian Database (WCD) may in some cases not correspond with the membership figures provided by the churches, or with statistical infor­mation that may be obtained from other sources. Most of the queries received during the survey for the book suggested that the projections tended to be high. For reasons of consistency, the option has been to use this one source rather than several. The WCD is probably the most comprehensive global statistical resource on Christianity presently available 2. It groups churches and affiliated Christians in six “mega-blocks”: Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Independent and Marginal. Pentecostals and Evangelicals are included under Protestant if they are organized in denominations, under Independent if they are non-denominational. The classification of the WCD takes into account the occurrence of double affilia­tion, particularly in countries where there is one large majority church.



Evangelical and Pentecostal relations.

At the early stage of the project of this book there was an expectation that it might comprise also information on Pentecostal and Evangelical relations. The survey has proven that more time and research would be required to achieve such a purpose, and it may well be that the time was not yet ripe for it. However, the book does contain a number of indications. In the country profiles there is, where applicable, a mention of the national evangelical body affiliated with the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). The full list of national affiliates of the WEA, and infor­mation on Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and their global organizations, are provided in Part I. The lists of member churches of national and regional councils and conferences show a significant number of Evangelical and Pentecostal churches involved in ecumenical relationships. A paragraph in the opening section of Part II highlights some data illustrating this phenomenon.



How to use this book

The Table of Contents provides an overall view of the mass of information con­tained in the book, and the way it is presented.

To look up a particular member church of the WCC of which the user knows the name in English, the quickest is to consult the list of member churches in Part I and refer to the page as indicated. If the precise name is not known, but the user knows the country, the quickest is to look up the page in the index of countries and territories in the final section of the book, and go through the descriptions listed under that country.

The same applies for national councils of churches and equivalent bodies. The index of national / Christian / ecumenical councils and federations / fellowships of churches is placed in the final section of the book. An index of regional ecumeni­cal organizations / church bodies, and another one of sub-regional fellowships / conferences / councils, provides for easy reference to these categories.

For general information on global church bodies / groupings of churches / con­fessional families, Christian World Communions, and global mission communions, Part I should be consulted. An alphabetical index of Part I is available in the final section of the book.

2 The World Christian Database is the online and updated version of the 2001 World Christian Encyclopedia of Bar­rett, Kurian and Johnson.

Maps

At the beginning of each regional section there is a map of the region con­cerned. In addition, maps are also included of Germany and Indonesia, to facilitate the geographical location of the member churches in these two countries.



Tables

In Part I, two tables on page 14 present the distribution of WCC member churches by church family and by region. On pages 80 and 81, two comparative tables provide some statistical insight on the overlap of membership between the World Council of Churches and Christian World Communions.

***

Acknowledgements

This book would not have been possible without the cooperation of a great number of people in the churches, councils and other church bodies related to the World Council of Churches. They are too many to be mentioned here by name, and I would run the risk of momentarily neglecting some of them. My sincere thanks go to all who have contributed to making available the necessary informa­tion and data. It has been an exciting exercise, but also time-consuming, and at times a difficult and frustrating one, not only for me but certainly also for those on whom I depended to get the descriptions, statistics, lists etc. My frequent and insis­tent reminders may have exasperated more than one of them. In some cases, there was no other way than to solicit the assistance of an intermediary whom I knew and who could establish the necessary contact. In expressing my gratitude to all these friends who responded to my calls for help, I would like to name two in par­ticular: Mr Toesmoyo of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia who was extremely efficient in helping to reach the churches in the remote areas of his coun­try, and Ms Angharad Malama Toma of the WCC office in Suva, Fiji, who collected precious information on the churches and councils in the Pacific.

The process of producing this book has shown once more the paramount impor­tance of a reliable address system for the churches and councils. Many of the dif­ficulties encountered were due to the fact that telephone and fax numbers, email addresses and names of persons in offices were not correct or not up-to-date. One can only guess how much harm this causes to communication between the WCC and its constituency. It is essential that the churches and councils inform the WCC promptly of changes in their addresses and leadership, and that the WCC ensure the up-to-date recording of these data. Another lesson to be drawn is the poten­tial of email and internet for the exchange of information and communication. More than 90 percent of the correspondence in preparation for the book has been by email, and a considerable amount of information has been gathered from the web. This would seem to indicate that a more immediate and direct form of com­munication between the leadership of the WCC and of the churches, councils and other church bodies is now within reach.

Besides offering basic information, another purpose of this book has been to provide the user with a concise overview of the main ecclesial traditions that make up contemporary Christianity, as well as a summary of the history and development of national and regional councils and conferences of churches. I would like to acknowledge with much appreciation the cooperation of the secretaries of the Christian World Communions, who have responded readily to the request for a presentation of their respective church families and organizations. May I be allowed to mention in particular the Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi for his assistance with the intro­duction to the Christian World Communions, Bishop Brian Farrell for the article on the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr Benedict Ioannou and Dr Despina Prassas for the pre­sentation of the Eastern Orthodox Church, His Holiness Aram I for permitting me to use one of his books for the description of the Oriental Orthodox churches, Dr Gilbert Stafford of the Church of God (Anderson) University for the contribution on the Holiness tradition, Dr Cecil M. Robeck of Fuller Theological Seminary for the article on Pentecostal churches, and Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance for his help with the presentation of Evangelical churches. My deep appreciation goes also to Dr Diane Kessler who wrote part of the introduction on regional and national councils, and helped to review this chapter. I would also like to express my thanks to the general secretaries of the Regional Ecumenical Organizations, who reviewed the profiles of their respective organizations.

I am grateful to Dr Todd Johnson and Dr Peter Crossing of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, USA, who allowed me to make use of the World Christian Database and helped me with their advice on several occasions.

Finally, I am greatly indebted to many of my former colleagues in the WCC, on whom I called frequently for assistance and advice. The list is long, and again I seek permission to mention only a few, while thanking all of them: Georges Lemopou­los, deputy general secretary, who read many a page and whose sense of nuance and balance was most helpful; the regional secretaries André Karamaga (Africa), Mathews George (Asia), Matti Peiponen (Europe), Marta Palma (Latin America), Michel Nseir (Middle East), Deborah DeWinter (US Office), Fei Tevi (Pacific) who helped in various ways with their intimate knowledge of their region; Carlos Ham who did the same for the Caribbean; Melaku Kifle and Clement John of Interna­tional Affairs; etc. Outside the WCC, I owe special thanks to Martin Junge of LWF and Afaf Deeb-Kandis of the MECC for their help.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the WCC communication staff: Alexander Belopopsky and Yannick Provost who have supported and accom­panied the project from the beginning, Joan Cambitsis and Theodore Gill who have provided their technical know-how, and not to forget Libby Visinand who has done all the proofreading. My thanks also go to the colleagues in the office of Church and Ecumenical Relations, Teny Pirri-Simonian and Luzia Wehrle, who among other things helped to make much-needed funds available. The editing of this book has been for me a particularly gratifying enterprise. It has been an opportunity to pay back my debt to the WCC, which has enabled me over more than a quarter of a century to benefit from a wealth of personal relationships with churches in all parts of the world. There could have been no better way to use and share it. I hope it will be for the benefit of many.

Huibert van Beek



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