Feb. 22, 2022

Latin American voices share wounds, commit to walk together towards the WCC 11th Assembly

Latin American voices share wounds, commit to walk together towards the WCC 11th Assembly

A regional online gathering on 10 February with representatives from Latin America attending the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee meeting provided opportunity to share commons concerns and brought to light a common desire to walk together towards the WCC 11th Assembly later this year.

Food distribution by volunteers under a viaduct in downtown Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC
22 February 2022

During the meeting, voices from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua, shared the common concern about the situation in the region, mainly due to the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Besides the tragic number of lives lost, the pandemic-related humanitarian crisis increased poverty for millions of people in Latin America.

According to the Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021 (https://www.fao.org/americas/publicaciones-audio-video/panorama/2021/en/) , in just one year, the number of people living with hunger in the region  increased by 13.8 million, reaching a total of 59.7 million people.

Moreover, in various countries of the region, millions of children stayed away from school, which affected their psychological and social development.

The effects of disinformation, hate speech, and political polarization were also mentioned as severe challenges during the pandemic.

“All these different complex issues highlighted the importance of a regionally rooted joint reflection on the theme of the WCC 11^th Assembly “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” said Rev. Gloria Ulloa, WCC president for Latin America and the Caribbean, who moderated the conversation.

Another participant stressed how crucial it is to look at the meanings of “love” and “unity” within the Latin American current context.

The wish to walk together as a region towards the upcoming WCC 11th Assembly, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany, 31 August – 8 September, is motivating the delegations of the member churches to intensify their preparations  for the global gathering, which will include attending a regional pre-assembly organized by the WCC.

Despite all the external and internal challenges raised, the meeting participants renewed their commitment to work together for justice and peace, bringing the Latin American context and its different voices to the global ecumenical arena.

WCC central committee meeting 2022 (https://www.oikoumene.org/about-the-wcc/organizational-structure/wcc-central-committee/central-committee-2022)

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