World Council of Churches

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Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

The WCC is a committed and consistent partner for Indigenous Peoples in their struggles for land, identity, language and survival of indigenous cultures.
Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

Arusha Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, 2018, Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The experience of Indigenous Peoples, both in society and in the life of the churches, is still to a great extent a story of continued exclusion and oppression. The worldviews, spiritualities, cultures and experiences of Indigenous Peoples are distinct. At the heart of their struggles for survival as distinct self-determining peoples is the maintenance of Indigenous Peoples’ spiritual, cultural, social, economic, and political integrity.

The WCC has a longstanding commitment to work in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. At its 10th Assembly, in 2013, the WCC reaffirmed this commitment, recognizing that oppressive institutions and systemic evil shaping the situation of Indigenous Peoples hurt all, and hence all are in need of healing and transformation. The WCC work concerning Indigenous Peoples therefore prioritizes healing and transformation as it seeks to embody the full reality and authority of indigenous life within the WCC and the ecumenical movement.

The WCC Indigenous Peoples’ Programme is part of its work on Mission from the Margins.

The WCC seeks to strengthen, initiate and nurture the Indigenous Peoples’ global and regional networks, build capacities of regional and local-level leadership, support grassroots' movements for justice, development, land, identity and self-determination, enable the participation and contribution of the Indigenous Peoples in the life and ministries of the ecumenical movement and churches at various levels, and support the participation of indigenous peoples in international meetings relevant to their struggle.

Priorities in the partnership with the regional networks include Advocacy for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Strengthening Indigenous Theologies and Spiritualities.

Indigenous peoples invite all Christians to dream up "a new earth and new heaven" as it is promised in the Bible and as it is the marginalized peoples' common vision that another world is possible.

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