Christians in Asia strengthen commitment to collaboration

By staff writers
February 12, 2015

Two former The World Council of Churches (WCC) staff members who have been appointed to new positions leading two major ecumenical organisations in Asia.

Dr Mathews George Chunakara has been elected as General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia and the Rev Dr Young-Cheol Cheon as General Secretary of the Korean Diakonia – which has had a recent emphasis on global partnerships and on emergency relief work.

Both organisations play a significant role in the developing profile of Christianity in Asia, and in the agenda of justice and peace in the wide, diverse and multi-faceted region.

Mathews George Chunakara from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in India served the WCC in several positions over a period of almost 15 years. From 2009 to 2014 he was director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.

With a long experience of working on issues of human rights and international affairs in Asia and beyond, he has edited and authored a number of books on ecumenical themes related to human security.

Young-Cheol Cheon from the Presbyterian Church of Korea has served the WCC as communication liaison officer for the Asia region. Among other contributions to the ecumenical movement, Cheon worked intensively for the WCC in helping prepare the 10th Assembly held in 2013 in South Korea.

“We extend our heartiest congratulations and offer prayers for God’s blessings for our former colleagues who are taking up new and challenging roles,” said the Rev Dr Hielke Wolters, WCC’s acting General Secretary.

“While they serve the churches through their new Christian ministry, from the WCC we assure our support for their ecumenical endeavours,” he added.

“It is our hope that both Mathews George Chunakara and Young-Cheol Cheon will continue to serve the churches through their strong ecumenical commitment and experience,” he added.

* WCC:


* Korea Diakonia Confirms 2014 Plans: “Emergency Relief, Strengthening of Global Network”:


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