World Evangelical Alliance
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is a global organization of evangelical Christian churches, serving more than 600 million evangelicals, founded in 1846 at Freemason Hall London, England, United Kingdom to unite evangelicals worldwide. WEA is the largest international organization of evangelical churches, and is now headquartered in Chicago, Manila, and Bonn. It brings together 7 regional and 129 evangelical alliances of churches, and over 150 member organizations. Some of the national alliances include Protestant churches which are not traditional Evangelical churches in the strict sense (anabaptism, networks & church denominations). Moreover, the WEA includes a certain percentage of individual evangelical Christian churches. It is open for membership of individual evangelical Christians (as compared to the World Council of Churches (WCC), where individual membership is not possible). The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom, its founding member, is part of WEA.
|World Evangelical Alliance|
|Leader||Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General|
|Associations||129 evangelical alliances|
Its mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God.
Statement of faith
- in the Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
- One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and His Personal return in power and glory.
- The Salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The Unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ.
- The Resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
The organization has its origins in the Evangelical Alliance, a British organization founded in 1846. In 1951, the World Evangelical Fellowship was founded by 21 countries at the first general assembly in Woudschoten (Zeist) in the Netherlands. In 2001, after the General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, WEF became the World Evangelical Alliance. As of 2005, the WEA was experiencing a collegiate management under the leadership of its Canadian leader, Geoff Tunnicliffe. Offices were opened in Vancouver, Canada (Leadership), San Francisco (Information Technology), Washington (Publications), and Geneva (International Relations). As of 2010, the central office is in New York, United States
List of former leaders
- Roy Cattell (United Kingdom) and J. Elwin Wright (United States), co-secretaries, (1951-1953)
- A.J. Dain (United Kingdom) and J. Elwin Wright (United States), co-secretaries, (1953-1958)
- Fred Ferris (United States), International Secretary, United States, (1958-1962)
- Gilbert Kirby (United Kingdom), International Secretary, (1962-1966)
- Dennis Clark (Canada), International Secretary, (1966-1970)
- Gordon Landreth (United Kingdom), interim International Secretary, (1970-1971)
- Clyde Taylor (United States), International Secretary, (1971-1975)
- Waldron Scott, (United States) General Secretary, (1975-1980)
- Wade Coggins, (United States) Interim General Secretary, (1981)
- David M. Howard, International Director (1982-1992)
- Agustin Vencer, International Director (1992-2001)
- Gary Edmonds, Secretary General (2002-2004)
- Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General (2005–2014)
- Efraim Tendero, Secretary General (2015–present)
- Theological Commission
- Missions Commission
- Religious Liberty Commission
- Women's Commission
Function: Identify and address the special needs of women. The commission works with advocacy organizations women's rights.
- Youth Commission
Function: Equipping children for their development and protect their rights.
- IT Commission
Function: Sharing knowledge on Information technology and promote the quality of Christian websites.
The World Evangelical Alliance embraces member-bodies whose identity and vocation are rooted in historic biblical Christianity. WEA affirms and seeks the biblical unity of Christ's body, the Church, celebrating the diversity of practices and theological emphases consistent with the WEA Statement of Faith, recognizing the existing dynamic tension between unity and diversity.
There are five types of membership, each with its distinct qualifications and responsibilities:
- Regional & National Alliances are regional evangelical fellowships and their national fellowships/alliances.
- Global Partners are independently incorporated organizations which work in harmony with WEA structures and serving the WEA constituency.
- Associate Members are independently incorporated organizations with their own specific ministries and accountability, an international scope of ministry, and the capacity and authority to serve in and beyond the WEA community.
- Church Networks & Denominations are networks of churches (located in one or a number of countries), in agreement with the Statement of Faith and objectives of the World Evangelical Alliance.
- It is open for individual membership of evangelical Christians.
A General Assembly takes place every six years in a country that differs depending on the year. It is a time of healing and gathering for national alliances and associations. It allows the execution of administrative procedures and the training of leaders of each country. The last General Assembly was to be held in 2014 in Seoul in South Korea, but was postponed to a later date.
- 1951 Amsterdam (Woudschoten), Netherlands, August 4–11
- 1953 Clarens, Switzerland, July 27–31
- 1956 Rhode Island, United States, August 27–31
- 1962 Hong Kong, April 25-May 2
- 1968 Lausanne, Switzerland, May 4–10
- 1974 Château d'Oex, Switzerland, July 25–29
- 1980 London (Hoddesdon) England, UK, March 24–28
- 1986 Singapore, June 23–27
- 1992 Manila, Philippines, June 21–26
- 1997 Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, May 8–15
- 2001 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 4–10
- 2008 Pattaya, Thailand, October 25–30
- 2019 Bogor, Indonesia, November 7-14
There are two quarterly publications: a journal Evangelical Review of Theology (published on behalf by Paternoster Periodicals since 1977) and a newsletter Theological News (since 1969). Books are published occasionally.
The fight against poverty is a major concern of the WEA. Publications and meetings of the Alliance are the means used to influence and inspire development initiatives and actions humanitarian in churches, NGOs and political. It is the origin of the Micah Challenge, an initiative to educate Christians and promote decision making among leaders.
On June 5, 2010, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director of the WEA, appeared alongside the leaders of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in a press conference, entitled “Christian unity today”, at the Edinburgh 2010 Conference. The gathering marked the centennial of the 1910 World Missionary Conference. In the same year, on 17 October 2010, Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the WCC, gave an invited address to the 3rd International Congress of the Lausanne Movement. In the address he said, "we are called to participate in the one mission of God". The World Evangelical Alliance, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director and other WEA leaders were involved at each level in the development of the programme, and helped choose its participants.
On 22 January 2015, the WCC and WEA announced plans for closer cooperation, worship and witness. In the same year, in June 2015, the WEA reported that discussions with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were finalised, and that "the open questions of the 16th century are almost answered". The WEA representatives also reported that "still open is the question to what extend [sic] evangelical Christians who stem from the reformation churches have full access to salvation according to the catholic view".
On May 24, 2017, the WEA participated in a two-day Global Christian Forum meeting with the World Council of Churches, officials from the Vatican and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Pentecostal World Federation to facilitate moves 'towards greater oneness in Christ'. The meeting was held at the WCC's Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Some criticism was voiced of the WEA for lack of consultation about this move, the absence of regional and national discussion, or a vote of the General Assembly prior to the meeting.
Neglect of the suffering church in China
The WEA was criticised for its positive assessment of the situation of the churches in China, after meeting with government approved representatives. China Aid and Church in Chains claimed, "There are many Christians in China who are not free to worship, do not have Bibles of their own and are not free to organise their own affairs and this situation is not mentioned in your press release… our concern is that you have turned your back on these brothers and sisters." One exemplary case of abuse, that of the imprisoned Uyghur Christian, Alimujiang Yimiti, was raised in the criticism, but the WEA did not respond in detail.
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