World Evangelical Alliance

Last updated
World Evangelical Alliance
Classification Protestant
Orientation Evangelical
Leader Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General
Associations129 evangelical alliances
RegionWorldwide
Headquarters New York
Origin1846
Members600 million
Official website worldea.org

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is a global organization of evangelical Christian churches, serving more than 600 million evangelicals, founded in 1846 at Freemason Hall in London, England, United Kingdom to unite evangelicals worldwide. WEA is the largest international organization of evangelical churches, and has offices in Bonn, Colombo, Geneva, Illinois, Manila and New York. It brings together 7 regional and 135 evangelical alliances of churches, and over 150 member organizations. Some of the national alliances include Protestant churches which are not traditional Evangelical churches in the strict sense (anabaptism, [1] networks & church denominations). Moreover, the WEA includes a certain percentage of individual evangelical Christian churches. It is open for membership of individual evangelical Christians [2] (as compared to the World Council of Churches (WCC), where individual membership is not possible). The Evangelical Alliance [3] of the United Kingdom, its founding member, is part of WEA.

Contents

Purpose

Its mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God.

Statement of faith

We believe

History

The organization has its origins in the Evangelical Alliance, a British organization founded in 1846. [5] In 1951, the World Evangelical Fellowship was founded by 21 countries at the first general assembly in Woudschoten (Zeist) in the Netherlands. [6] [7] In 2001, after the General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, WEF became the World Evangelical Alliance. [8] As of 2005, the WEA was experiencing a collegiate management under the leadership of its Canadian leader, Geoff Tunnicliffe. Offices were opened in Vancouver, Canada (Leadership), San Francisco (Information Technology), Washington (Publications), and Geneva (International Relations). As of 2010, the central office is in New York, United States [9]

Leadership

The WEA is headed by a Secretary-General whose function is to administer and represent the Alliance. Efraim Tendero, born in Philippines, is the Secretary-General since March 1, 2015. [10] [11]

List of former leaders

This list contains the former leaders of the WEA since 1951. [12]

Commissions

In 1974, the WEA creates 6 commissions to better achieve its mandates. [15] [16]

Function: Reflect on issues of evangelical theology, and the important issues concerning the churches and society in the world. [17]

Function: Coordinate activities of evangelism and Christian humanitarian ism. [18] [19]

Function: Monitor religious freedom in the world and participate in the defense of persecuted Christians. In the United Nations, the Commission shall field observation reports. [20]

Function: Identify and address the special needs of women. The commission works with advocacy organizations women's rights. [21]

Function: Equipping children for their development and protect their rights. [22]

Function: Sharing knowledge on Information technology and promote the quality of Christian websites. [23]

Membership

The World Evangelical Alliance embraces member-bodies whose identity and vocation are rooted in historic biblical Christianity. WEA affirms and seeks the biblical unity of Christ's body, the Church, celebrating the diversity of practices and theological emphases consistent with the WEA Statement of Faith, [24] recognizing the existing dynamic tension between unity and diversity.

There are five types of membership, each with its distinct qualifications and responsibilities:

General Assemblies

A General Assembly takes place every six years in a country that differs depending on the year. [25] It is a time of healing and gathering for national alliances and associations. [26] It allows the execution of administrative procedures and the training of leaders of each country. The last General Assembly was to be held in 2014 in Seoul in South Korea, but was postponed to a later date. [27]

Publications

There are two quarterly publications: a journal Evangelical Review of Theology (published on behalf by Paternoster Periodicals since 1977) and a newsletter Theological News (since 1969). Books are published occasionally. [29]

Global engagements

Development

The fight against poverty is a major concern of the WEA. [30] Publications and meetings of the Alliance are the means used to influence and inspire development initiatives and actions humanitarian in churches, NGOs and political. [31] It is the origin of the Micah Challenge, an initiative to educate Christians and promote decision making among leaders. [32]

Ecumenical Participation

On June 5, 2010, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director of the WEA, appeared alongside the leaders of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in a press conference, entitled “Christian unity today”, at the Edinburgh 2010 Conference. The gathering marked the centennial of the 1910 World Missionary Conference. [33] In the same year, on 17 October 2010, Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the WCC, gave an invited address to the 3rd International Congress of the Lausanne Movement. [34] In the address he said, "we are called to participate in the one mission of God". [34] The World Evangelical Alliance, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director and other WEA leaders were involved at each level in the development of the programme, and helped choose its participants. [35]

On 22 January 2015, the WCC and WEA announced plans for closer cooperation, worship and witness. [36] [37] In the same year, in June 2015, the WEA reported that discussions with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were finalised, and that "the open questions of the 16th century are almost answered". [38] The WEA representatives also reported that "still open is the question to what extend [sic] evangelical Christians who stem from the reformation churches have full access to salvation according to the catholic view". [38]

On May 24, 2017, the WEA participated in a two-day Global Christian Forum meeting with the World Council of Churches, officials from the Vatican and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Pentecostal World Federation to facilitate moves 'towards greater oneness in Christ'. [39] The meeting was held at the WCC's Bossey Ecumenical Institute. [40] Some criticism was voiced of the WEA for lack of consultation about this move, the absence of regional and national discussion, or a vote of the General Assembly prior to the meeting. [41]

Criticism

Neglect of the suffering church in China

The WEA was criticised for its positive assessment of the situation of the churches in China, after meeting with government approved representatives. China Aid and Church in Chains claimed, "There are many Christians in China who are not free to worship, do not have Bibles of their own and are not free to organise their own affairs and this situation is not mentioned in your press release… our concern is that you have turned your back on these brothers and sisters." [42] [43] One exemplary case of abuse, that of the imprisoned Uyghur Christian, Alimujiang Yimiti, was raised in the criticism, but the WEA did not respond in detail. [42] [43]

See also

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