Christians in India call for a respectful approach to mission

 — Mar. 20, 201220 mars 2012

[WCC News] “Christians are to acknowledge that changing one’s religion is a decisive step that must be accompanied by sufficient time for reflection and preparation, through a process ensuring full personal freedom.” This assertion is one of the guiding principles for Christian mission in India suggested in early March by a consultation convened under the leadership of the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore University (BTESSC).

The purpose of the meeting was to study and review the 2011 document “Christian Witness in a Multi-religious World: Recommendations for Conduct.” These guidelines were jointly approved and published by the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Roman Catholic Church.

BTESSC collaborated in organizing a National Level Christian Leaders Consultation with the Evangelical Fellowship of India, the National Council of Churches in India and the Interfaith Coalition for Peace. The keynote speaker at the 29 February-2 March event was the Rev. G. Devakadasham, moderator of the Church of South India.

The group’s aim was to develop a code of conduct for the Indian context based on the earlier, international document. The result is “Christian Witness in the Pluralistic Context of India: Recommendations for Conduct.”

Among the principles proposed: “Christian witness must reflect the fullness of life that Jesus came to offer. We oppose any inappropriate methods of exercising mission, such as resorting to deception and coercive means, which betray the gospel and may cause suffering to others. Such departures call for repentance and remind us of our need for God’s continuing grace (cf. Romans 3:23).”

The document continues: “We affirm that while it is our responsibility to witness to Christ, conversion is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:7-9; Acts 10:44-47). We recognize that the Spirit blows where the Spirit wills in ways over which no human being has control (cf. John 3:8).”

• Read the full text of Christian Witness in the Pluralistic Context of India
• Read the full text of Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World
Christians reach broad consensus on appropriate missionary conduct (WCC press release of 30 June 2011)

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Posted: Mar. 20, 2012 • Permanent link:
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Catégorie : WCC News

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