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The Fourth World Gathering of the World Christian Forum (WCF) took place from April 16th to 19th, 2024, in Accra, Ghana, under the theme “That the World May Know” (John 17:23). The event was held at Accra Ridge Church, an interdenominational Christian center.

According to the correspondent of the RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY (RECONA) based in Ghana, over 240 participants from 60 different countries attended the assembly, representing a wide range of Christian traditions, including Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Independent churches, as well as international ecumenical organizations. This diversity underscored the variety and richness of the Christian family.

The program included times of communal prayer, biblical studies, theological reflection in plenary sessions, and roundtable discussions, aiming to explore various ways of collectively witnessing to Christ in today’s world. In line with the WCF tradition, a significant portion of time was dedicated to participants sharing their personal and ecclesial faith experiences in international and interdenominational groups.

Through a series of daily themes, participants pondered what it means for Christians worldwide to be “One in God,” “Broken in their humanity,” “Healed by Christ,” and “Sent by God.” As part of the program, participants also visited Cape Coast Castle, one of the “slave forts” built on the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) by European merchants. They took part in a Lamentation and Reconciliation ceremony at the city’s Methodist cathedral, acknowledging the complicity of many churches in the sin of the slave trade and seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.

Over twenty Catholics, including laity, clergy members, and representatives from various movements and religious communities from several continents, participated in the gathering and actively contributed to its different aspects. Archbishop Flavio Pace, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, greeted the participants, emphasizing the importance of the WCF in promoting an ecumenical spirit among all Christian families. He congratulated the WCF on its 25th anniversary, describing it as an “open space” where Christians of diverse traditions can regularly come together to nurture mutual respect, share personal and ecclesial faith narratives, express aspirations, address common challenges, and explore new ways to promote Christian unity amidst significant global changes affecting Christianity.

Several Catholics facilitated roundtable discussions, sharing their personal faith narratives and offering reflections on the daily themes. In particular, on Thursday, April 18th, Dr. Katherine Shirk-Lucas participated in a roundtable, providing a Catholic perspective on the main theme of the gathering.

The last WCF global gathering attended by a Catholic delegation was held in Bogota, Colombia, in 2018.