Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia preached at the worship service opening the “Churches against Racism” conference in Doorn. Photo: Jaap de Jager
In a worship service opening the “Churches against Racism” conference in Doorn, Netherlands, 14-17 June, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia said the Bible was the “ultimate immigration handbook”.
Kobia asked Christians to apply the parable of the “good Samaritan” to the current context in which they live.
“It speaks to us in this week after virulently anti-immigrant parties made unprecedented gains in European elections”, he said. “This parable of Jesus calls us again to consider, ‘Who is my neighbour’ and how are we to live out that relationship? Christ calls us to be neighbours of immigrants, of oppressed minorities within our own nations, of all who are in need of a neighbour.”
The service was held to give thanks for the WCC Programme to Combat Racism. Launched 40 years ago the programme assisted the victims of racial discrimination in different parts of the world, most prominently in South Africa under the apartheid regime. Some fifty church leaders, activists and theologians are attending the international conference.
Expected outcomes of the conference are theologically founded strategies and networks to advocate against racism within society and the church. A message of commitment will be read during a closing worship service 17 June in the presence of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
The conference was organized by the WCC in cooperation with the Council of Churches in the Netherlands, the association of migrant churches in the Netherlands SKIN, the missionary and diaconal agency KerkinActie, the interchurch organization for development cooperation ICCO and the ecumenical advocacy group Oikos.
Media contact in the Netherlands:
Henk van IJken +31 (0)30 880 1791
Full text of the sermon by the WCC general secretary – http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/general-secretary/sermons/14-06-09-and-who-is-my-neighbour.html
WCC work on just and inclusive communities – http://www.oikoumene.org/en/programmes/unity-mission-evangelism-and-spirituality/just-and-inclusive-communities.html