Amsterdam to Nairobi: The World Council of Churches and the Third World

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Ethics and Public Policy Center, Georgetown University, 1979 - Religion - 114 pages
Churches, and in a larger sense religion, should serve as the conscience of society. Hence Christian bodies have an obligation to condemn gross evils and to speak out on the great moral issues, but they should not give their full support to any political party or cause. The World Council of Churches (WCC) from its beginning in 1948 showed an interest in the developing countries. The WCC has been increasingly influenced by the picture of downtrodden people struggling for freedom, dignity, and economic development. By 1975, the WCC had embraced the concept and practice of liberation theology, which on some issues, has been very similar to Marxism. Ambiguity toward Marxism stems from a profound confusion between ends and means. The Marxists' claim of a clear-cut diagnosis and simple answers has an appeal to Westerners who feel guilty about their power and wealth. Seven recommendations are offered in conclusion that would make the WCC truer to the Christian faith and make a more responsible contribution to justice and freedom in the political order. Appendices that contain texts of relevant WCC documents, notes, and an index of persons and countries are included. (BZ)

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