Washington, DC (BWA)-- The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) participated in the second global gathering of the Global Christian Forum (GCF) that was held in Manado, Indonesia, from October 4-7. The first gathering was held in Limuru near Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2007.
First begun in the late 1990s, the forum brings together Christians from confessional, ecumenical, evangelical, and Pentecostal/charismatic movements from across denominational, regional, ethnic and cultural boundaries. It includes members of the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pentecostal World Fellowship, in addition to parachurch organizations. The GCF creates "a 'space' where participants all meet on an equal basis, to foster mutual respect, and to explore and address together common concerns."
Following the GCF meeting in Kenya, the book, Revisioning Christian Unity - The Global Christian Forum, was published. A strategic planning meeting was held in November 2008 to implement the recommendations of the Limuru gathering, taking into account the results of the evaluation.
Fausto Vasconcelos, the BWA Director of the Division on Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection, and John Kok, a BWA vice president, represented the BWA at the meetings in Indonesia. Discussions focused on changes in world Christianity as well as on the vision and direction of the GCF.
Other Baptists representing their own national or regional Baptist organizations as well as ecumenical groups attended the meetings. These included David Vidyatama of the Union of Indonesian Baptist Churches, Guntur Subagyo of the Indonesian Baptist Alliance, Gold O. Anie of the Nigerian Baptist Convention; Mouner Al Ajji from the Syria Convention of Evangelical Baptist Churches, Jonathan Malone of American Baptist Churches USA, and William Shaw of the National Baptist Convention, USA.