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Participating in God's Mission of Reconciliation: A Resource for Churches in Situations of Conflict
World Council of Churches, Commission on Faith and Order
WCC Publications, 2006
ISBN: 978-2-8254-1471-2


Faith and Order Paper no. 201

This text results from the study on Ethnic Identity, National Identity, and the Search for the Unity of the Church done by Faith and Order with the collaboration of the WCC's Justice, Peace and Creation team. It offers resources for churches in situations of tension or conflict, especially where ethnic and national tensions are major factors, and suggests how Christian unity can further the churches' witness for reconciliation and justice.

Many of today's conflicts reflect the tension between ethnic groups or nations. In such situations, Christians and the churches are called to be agents of reconciliation. But sometimes the "fault lines" between the churches coincide with – rather than challenge and heal – those in society. In their division, the churches often mirror, or even intensify, tensions between particular ethnic groups and nations. The results are often destructive, even deadly. Grounded in the imperative for unity, this study draws on biblical scholarship, theological reflection, and social scientific research as well as the experience and reflection of local churches in Fiji, the Sudan, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Relating the search for Christian unity to the church's work for just reconciliation and healing, this book is a valuable tool for churches, ecumenical study groups, local congregations – for all who seek to offer a Christian witness in the midst of conflict.