01.09.11 15:52 Antiguedad: 186 days

Golden anniversary of the Pacific Conference of Churches


In a gala commemoration of a half-century of Christian witness, the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) has returned to the Malua Theological College in Samoa where its first representatives assembled in 1961.


Among participants in the opening gathering from the World Council of Churches (WCC) were the general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and WCC executive for youth Faautu Talapusi of Samoa.


The anniversary celebrations stretch from Wednesday 30 August through Sunday 4 September. The welcoming ceremony featured traditional dancing, the exchange of gifts and feasting. Speakers for the occasion included Tveit, pioneers of the ecumenical movement in the Pacific, government leaders from Samoa and the president of Tahiti.


The need for ever greater unity among Christians was recognized, as well as for a common engagement in dialogue with representatives of other religions. Economic, social and environmental issues were discussed in a part of the world under threat by rising ocean waters that accompany global climate change.


Particular concern was voiced over an ongoing crackdown by the military government of Fiji on activities of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma.


Leaders of the PCC called on the government to enter a mediated dialogue process with Methodist Church representatives, and the PCC called on its members to stand in solidarity with the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma through prayer and messages of support.


During five decades of decolonization and the establishment of independent churches, the PCC has grown to include 28 Pacific island member churches and nine national councils of churches. An estimated 5.2 million people belong to the churches of the PCC out of a Pacific population totalling 8 million.



Website of the Pacific Conference of Churches


Read also: WCC calls cancellation of Methodist meeting by Fiji government "unacceptable" (WCC press release of 26 August 2011)