WCC Annual Review

The WCC Annual Review is an illustrated account of WCC programmes and activities over the year. It also contains key information on WCC member churches, governing bodies, finances, publications and other resources.

Before the name "Annual Review" was given to them, annual reports on the life and work of the WCC were designated as WCC Yearbook.


In 2011, the need to discern the things that make for peace was felt very acutely in the World Council of Churches and throughout the world, with one of the year's brightest moments being the gathering in May of more than 1,000 church leaders and peace activists for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC).

A landmark achievement came at mid-year with the publication of “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World”, a series of guidelines for creating codes of conduct in Christian mission and evangelism that encourage vibrant proclamation of the gospel while demonstrating respect for all our neighbours. Also in 2011, the WCC Central Committee adopted a theme for the 10th Assembly in 2013: “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.”



The year 2010 marked the centennial celebration of the World Missionary Conference of 1910, which took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been a landmark in the quest for visible unity of the Christian church. As the year progressed, the churches’ calendars were filled with events recollecting our common past and exploring the potential for community-building across traditional boundaries, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit writes in his introduction to the review.

The review also looks at examples for creative networking in pursuit of justice and peace ahead of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in 2011, and at inter-religious dialogue which was boosted by the November 2010 conference “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future”.



In his introduction to the WCC's Annual Review 2009, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit says that throughout the year 2009, "the WCC has played a part in the churches’ joyous response to God’s bounty. We do not claim sole credit for any of the achievements chronicled in this document, for we have enjoyed significant partnerships and cooperation at every level of service. And so we give glory to God, and we express thanks to member churches, caring agencies, generous donors and all our partners in dialogue, ministry, proclamation and advocacy." 



In 2008 the World Council of Churches celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as its own 60th anniversary. This gave the WCC “pause to reflect on how far the ecumenical movement has come since the Council was born in 1948 and where the Holy Spirit is leading as we proceed into the uncharted territory of the 21st century”, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia says in the report. 



During the 60 years since its first Assembly, the World Council of Churches has experienced many periods of transition in the church and the world. 2007 was a period of change, adjustment and innovation. The council is being re-shaped to meet contemporary challenges and new directions for ministry identified by our 9th Assembly at Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2006.


2006 was the year of the WCC's 9th Assembly. This global gathering in Brazil showed "how far churches have come over the past 100 years not just in ecumenical dialogue and action but in their impact on society at national and international levels," WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia says in the report. 

2006 also saw important shifts in the ecumenical fellowship: member churches adopted a consensus style of decision-making for the WCC; member churches and related organizations formed the international alliance "ACT Development"; the escalating violence in the Middle East triggered a refocusing of ecumenical work there; the process of "reconfiguring the ecumenical movement" bore fruit in various ways; and the central committee in 2006 adopted new programme priorities and a more integrated structure for the WCC for 2007 onward.

WCC Annual Review 2006 (pdf, 3.66 Mb)

WCC Financial Report 2006 (pdf, 698 Kb)


In his introduction to the report, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia notes that "The year 2005 was shaped by two major areas of engagement for the fellowship of churches that forms the WCC: a special focus on mission and evangelism, culminating in the world mission conference, and renewed efforts in the area of interreligious dialogue. This was also a year of intensive preparation for the 9th assembly in early 2006, including an evaluation of programmatic work which has laid the foundation for a refocusing of our future activities."


The year 2004 proved to be rich in initiative and hope for the World Council of Churches and for the wider ecumenical movement. The WCC was able to provide a unique space for the articulation of a common voice and for concerted action of churches in a world characterized by conflict and polarization.

WCC Annual Review 2004


The year 2003 marked several significant transitions in the life of the WCC. The first day of the year brought a new organizational structure, and the final day saw the retirement of WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser after eleven years in that position.

The WCC central committee, meeting at Geneva in late August and early September, hailed indicators that the financial situation of the Council had improved significantly since the crisis of 2002, chose a theme for the 9th assembly of the WCC in 2006, and elected Samuel Kobia as the new general secretary to take office in January 2004.

WCC Annual Review 2003

WCC Yearbook

Before the name "Annual Review" was given to them, annual reports on the life and work of the WCC were designated as "WCC Yearbook".


At its meeting in 2002, the WCC central committee surveyed the many challenges confronting the Council near the mid-point between its 8th and 9th assemblies. It took a number of important actions continuing emphases identified at Harare in 1998, and made decisions regarding the immediate future of the WCC, electing a search committee to nominate a successor to Konrad Raiser on his retirement as WCC general secretary at the end of 2003. The committee adopted recommendations arising from the final report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC, and voted to proceed with arrangements for the 9th assembly at Porto Alegre, Brazil, in February 2006.

2003 Yearbook


The record of the fellowship's life and programmes during 2001 recalls many positive achievements, yet these have been offset by violent disruptions to the peace of the planet. And so the years ahead, as suggested in the document "A Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches", seem to await the WCC as further occasions for "repentance and conversion, renewal and reorientation".

2002 Yearbook


an illustrated narrative account of the WCC's activities in 2000, grouped under four overarching themes: lifting up the voice of church in society; ecumenical space: building trust for common action; working for peace and reconciliation; sharing alternatives to economic globalization. There is also information on WCC finances, and an obituaries section.

Yearbook 2001