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World Council of Churches (WCC) Justice, Peace, and Creation (JPC)


Abstract Based on the conviction that issues of justice, peace, and environmental protection are inextricably related, the Justice, Peace and Creation team (JPC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks to foster the creation of just and sustainable communities around the world. Based on its vision of an ecumenical Earth, the WCC challenges Christian individuals, denominations, and churches around the world to work together to resist social and ecological destruction and to create viable alternatives to corporate globalization. Guided by a vision of Earth as Home, a life-centered form of ethics, and a firm commitment to economic justice, the JPC team runs a variety of programs concerning the environment, women, youth, racism, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, globalization, and peace. Taking up the recommendation from the WCC’s Eighth Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe (1988) that the WCC focus its attention on creating an alternative to corporate globalization, the Ecumenical Earth Program promotes a vision of the world based on the Christian commitment to the oikoumene, which it variously defines as the diverse unity of the whole inhabited earth. To address the myriad destructive effects of corporate globalization, the JPC team uses a methodology of analysis, critique, and the creation of alternatives based on the following principles: equity, respect for biological and cultural diversity, accountability, participation, sufficiency, and subsidiarity (defined as “the downward distribution of power”). In cooperation with WCC member churches and ecumenical partners (including Christian development agencies such as Christian Aid, Brot fur die Welt, Church World Service, Norwegian Church Aid, and Church of Sweden Aid), Ecumenical Earth programs focus on such issues as climate change, transportation, biological and cultural diversity, and biotechnology.
Religion Christianity
Geographical Location International
Duration of Project 1983–Present
History

In the 1970s, the WCC began to recognize the connections between justice, peace, and ecological sustainability. At the Vancouver Assembly in 1983, the WCC encouraged member churches to publicly commit to addressing environmental concerns as part of a common effort to promote Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation, which became known as the JPIC process. In 1988, the WCC launched its Climate Change Program to promote the transformation of socioeconomic structures and personal lifestyle choices that contribute to global warming. In 1990, the WCC sponsored the World Convocation on Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation in Seoul, Korea. Climate Change was at the center of one of four covenants at the Seoul convocation. At the Canberra Assembly in 1991 the WCC strongly affirmed the JPIC process, and a Justice, Peace, and Creation Unit was formed. That same year, the WCC initiated its Theology of Life Study, which drew on the experiences of twenty-two local groups from around the world, each reflecting on one of the ten affirmations made at the 1990 World Convocation on Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation. The purpose of Study was to ground WCC theology more firmly in the lived experiences of local communities around the globe. The WCC strongly engaged with the preparatory process and the follow-up to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) summit in Rio de Janeiro. It participated in all of the sessions of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Sustainable Development and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The WCC regularly addressed the delegates to the UNFCCC and organized seminars and worship services accompanying the events. In 1995, the WCC presented a petition with approximately 500,000 signatures to the UNFCCC in Bonn. In 1997, the coordinator of the WCC Climate Change Program, David Hallman, delivered a “justice statement” to a gathering of senior governmental officials at the summit on climate change in Kyoto, Japan. The current JPC team was formed during the restructuring of the WCC after the Harare Assembly in 1998. In 1999, issue sixteen of Echoes, published by the JPC team, was entitled, “The Earth as Mother,” and featured articles relating to the environment and Indigenous peoples in various parts of the globe. The WCC has also published study documents and books on issues related to climate change and sustainable development.

Mission Statement “To analyze and reflect on justice, peace, and creation in their interrelatedness, to promote values and practices that make for a culture of peace, and to work toward a culture of solidarity with young people, women, Indigenous Peoples, and racially and ethnically oppressed people.”
Partner Organizations 350 WCC member churches worldwide
Regional ecumenical organizations on all continents
National Councils of Churches
Church-related development agencies
Environmental NGOs and social movement organizations
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information World Council of Churches
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Ph:       +41.22.791.6111
Fax:      +41.22.791.0361
Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)