A Handbook of Churches and Councils
Edited by: Huibert Van Beek
It has often been said-and rightly so-that the World Council of Churches (WCC) is first and foremost a fellowship of churches. This book is a vivid illustration of that reality. The descriptions, lists, statistical data, and other information presented in these pages give a striking picture of the extent and diversity of this fellowship. It encompasses a Christian population of some 590 million people, in close to 150 countries in all regions of the world, comprised of over 520,000 local congregations served by some 493,000 pastors and priests, as well as countless elders, teachers, members of parish councils, and others. A Handbook of Churches and Councils is not simply a handbook of the member churches of the WCC. At all levels-global, regional and sub-regional, national, and local-member churches of the WCC interact with other churches which, for various reasons, are not formally part of the Council's membership. By combining in one volume all the conciliar and confessional bodies and their membership, this book demonstrates concretely the reach of the ecumenical movement and also shows how much broader it is than the WCC alone. It serves to remind us that ownership of the movement rests not only with the WCC but with all the partners, and ultimately with God.
Publication Date: 2/1/2006