Churches must find new ways of demonstrating unity in a world of change where the focus of Christianity is shifting to the Southern Hemisphere, said the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Samuel Kobia.
The purpose of promoting closer Christian unity in the world “is not to serve its own interests and those of institutional structures of the churches, but to serve the causes of justice and peace in the world,” Mr. Kobia said. He made the remarks in a keynote address on April 1 at the once-every-seven-years general assembly of the Hong Kong-based Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Mr. Kobia, who is from Africa, told Asian and other church leaders that “amidst rapid changes being effected by the processes of globalization, there is also worldwide evidence of a phenomenal yearning for a spiritual and moral way of life.”
As general secretary of the Geneva-based WCC, which groups the world’s main Protestant and Orthodox churches, Mr. Kobia asserted: “Doctrinal or theological considerations do not seem to set the agenda of these expressions of ‘spirituality.'”
Mr. Kobia was referring to the mushrooming growth of evangelical and Pentecostal churches in many parts of the world as long-established denominations see their congregations dwindling.