World Mission Conference in Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania, March 2018The 14th Conference on World Mission and Evangelisation took place on 8th to 13th March 2018 in the town of Arusha in Tanzania. As usual, it was organized by the World Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the World Council of Churches, this time attended by over 1,000 delegates from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic and other churches. The ECCB was represented by young theologian Pavol Bargár.

Here are excerpts from his report: After the opening service, Dr. Mutale Kaunda, a young Zigong Pentecostal Christian woman, set the tone for the entire conference by asking the participants how we can help to realize socio-political and economic changes in society, to eliminate inequality between genders or to provide better health care for people on the margins of society.

The individual days of the conference were thematically conceived and, in early plenary sessions, dedicated to evangelization and mission on the periphery of society, and to missionary development. On Sunday, all attendees were invited to religious services in the communities of the city of Arusha and its surroundings, as well as in the Kilimanjaro region.

PhotoByAlbinHillert_20180312_AH2_3211After a long discussion, the last plenary session adopted a final message from the entire conference. The Moderator of the World Council of Churches, Agnes Abuom, then recalled that we as Christians are invited to follow the Crucified, and not to be followers of those who bear responsibility for various forms of crucifixion yesterday and today.

On the final day of the conference, Ignatios Mor Afrem II, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, delivered a message of suffering and hope from the war-torn Syria. His closing words were, as it were, a counterpoint to the introductory lecture by Mutale Kaunda, but both combined the theme of mission and Christian life on the periphery of society, the main emphasis of the entire conference.

Stol Pánov

It can be said that the 14th Conference on World Mission and Evangelization focused on the Christian spiritual development of the followers of Jesus Christ, who are called to make positive changes in the world.

Pavol Bargár, Oliver Engelhardt