World Council of Churches (WCC)
|“Decade to Overcome Violence” |
150 route de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
CH - 1200 Genève 2
Tel: +41 22 791 60 47
Fax: +41 22 791 64 06
Representative: Hans-Ulrich Gerber
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity.
The WCC brings together more than 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world, representing some 400 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of denominations from such historic traditions of the Protestant Reformation as Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed, as well as many united and independent churches. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific.
The WCC initiative in 1998 to proclaim a "Decade to Overcome Violence" (2001-2010) was a response to the churches’ reading of the "signs of the times", inspired by a vision of reconciliation and peace. Following its Programme to Combat Racism and the Decade "Churches in Solidarity with Women", the World Council of Churches had launched a Programme to Overcome Violence in 1994 and turned it into a Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) in 2001.
The DOV runs in tandem with the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. It calls on churches, organisations, networks and individuals to cooperate together in challenging the spirit and logic of violence, relinquish any theological justification of violence, and seek to learn from and promote ways of overcoming violence in different cultural, religious and social contexts. Challenging the growing militarization of the world, promoting a new understanding of security, and affirming a spirituality of active non-violence are some other key objectives of the DOV.