In this photo: Dr Hrangthan Chhungi from Mizoram, India with Mrs Diana Jenbise Gerenja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua (GKITP).

Photo credit: Sean Hawkey / WCC

IN A PUBLIC STATEMENT released by the leadership of the World Council of Churches central committee, the WCC encourages continued advocacy, with Indigenous Peoples and on their behalf in defence of their human rights, to protect the use of human rights language, to promote Indigenous Peoplesright to self-determination and the right to participate in the decision making process within churches and in society.”

The statement was prepared by the Public Issues Committee at the WCC’s 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022..

The WCC recognises that ever since their first contact with colonisers, Indigenous Peoples have experienced a series of harms”, and that the mental and physical wellbeing of the children, grandchildren, and generations to come are at stake.” Wellbeing that is directly tied to the healing and well-being of the lands, waters, and the air.”

The declaration urges the WCC and member churches to initiate processes to address Indigenous Peoplesneed for healing from historical and intergenerational trauma by the establishment of Truth and Reconciliation processes that are based on restoring justice and healing relationships wherever crimes against humanity and genocides have occurred.”

The World Council of Churches also calls upon the member churches to ensure that the Indigenous Peoples programme has its own fully financed desk with adequate resources, and that the WCC Climate Justice work with the Indigenous Peoples programme be strengthened.”

Finally, the statement recognises the complicity of the Church in these genocides against Indigenous Peoples as well as the spiritual violence perpetrated by churches since first contacts,” prompting us to decolonise our faith traditions in order to rediscover the life-nurturing potential of the gospel.”

* Read the full statement here.

* Source: World Council of Churches