Message from the Indigenous Delegates of the 11 th  Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe, Germany from August 28 to September 9, 2022.

The theme of this Assembly was to “Christ’s Love Moving the World to Reconciliation and Unity”. On this overarching theme, many workshops and presentations were held from various perspectives and platforms. Here is a message from the Ecumenical Indigenous Pre-Assembly meeting for the Christian World in general and for the Churches in particular drafted by Lori Ransom, a delegate from the Presbyterian Church in Canada: “The church must pursue reconciliation with Indigenous peoples around the world.  It must confront and address the spiritual violence it has committed in the name of Christ’s love, and in the pursuit of a unity that denies the God-given diverse identities of Indigenous peoples, including their spiritual identities.  The church in its many global contexts needs to establish processes to hear the truth of the harm it has done, to repent of its sins, to atone, and change its behaviour.  This extends to a deep examination of its understanding of what it means to witness Christ’s love.  Indigenous peoples have much to teach the church in this regard. It also involves supporting Indigenous peoples in dealing with historical and ongoing trauma, and racism within the church, that still leads to suffering (e.g. suicide, substance abuse, and violence) and the loss of Indigenous lives.  Finally, the church must commit to supporting Indigenous self- determination within ecclesial institutions in keeping with article 12.1 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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