By Matters India Reporter
Yangon: All Churches have to ceaselessly work to spread God’s kingdom in the present grave realities, an official of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences told the Asian Mission Congress now underway in Yangon, Myanmar.
The Christian witness is the need of the hour amid adverse situations one faces today, said Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai, chairman of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the (FABC).
The mission congregation is organized by the FABC counterpart Christian Conference of Asia.
“This is a time of God’s special grace for us as we meet and celebrate our joy for the ecumenical bonds, which exist between Catholic church and other Christian churches. Our common ecumenical journey has made tremendous progress in the course of these years,” the Catholic bishop told the predominantly Protestant gathering.
The prelate was speaking at the diamond jubilee of the Christian Conference of Asia in Yangon on October 15. More than 6,000 people from different parts of the world, mostly from Myanmar, attended the glittering event.
“Our meeting on such significant and joyful occasion will also be important moment of encouragement for us to do everything possible, according to the injunctions of our respective churches, to journey together towards full and visible unity of our churches,” Archbishop Machado said.
It is a joyful to celebrate the CCA completing six decades of serving and enriching the churches in Asia and contributing significantly to the nurturing and strengthening of the ecumenical vision and mission in Asia, he added.
CCA, the first ecumenical body in the world, was formed in 1957 in Indonesia.
The theme, “Journeying Together: Prophetic Witness to the Truth and Light, in Asia,” which was chosen for the Asia Mission Conference that coincided with the diamond jubilee was linked to the role and relevance of the CCA in the Asian context. It resonates with contemporary situation in Asia and in the world, that stressed the hope and trust in God’s promises.
FABC and CCA formalized an agreement to work together in 1995, although cordially and friendly relations dated back to many years before, the Archbishop said.
“Our joint efforts, to promote ecumenism, have been through the Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); this endeavor has been fruitful in promotion of ecumenical movement in Asia. Obviously, we still have miles to walk in order to reach the goal, which our Lord has set for us and the Holy Spirit urges us to trod. We have been trying to reactivate the Asia Ecumenical Committee (AEC), which was formed in 1995. May the Spirit always accompany us,” he said.
Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of World Council of Churches, Mathews George Chunakara, general secretary, CCA, and other national and international dignities also spoke on the occasion.