Original Research

A critical review of World Council of Churches’ responses to the global challenges of migration

Christopher Magezi
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2121 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2121 | © 2021 Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 June 2020 | Published: 05 March 2021

About the author(s)

Christopher Magezi, Unit of Reformational Theology and the Development of South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

This article views migration as a topical issue that poses challenges, especially in recent times, for migrant sending and hosting nations and the migrants themselves. In response, the church has recommended various ways of addressing the prevailing migration situation. In acknowledging these proposed intervention measures, this article aims to establish if the churches’ approaches to the migration situation are harmonised and integrated. To accomplish this, the article reviews the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) responses to migration challenges as a window and insight into the broader approaches employed by the churches. The WCC mirrors the churches’ efforts, strategies and positions on migration issues. However, some churches do not adequately execute some of the interventions because of lack of finances to meet the material needs of the migrants, whilst others break the laws of the land as they respond to migration challenges. The article concludes by making recommendations on how the WCC can improve some of its intervention strategies in order to effectively respond to migration challenges.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article views migration as a topical issue that poses challenges to migrant sending and hosting nations and the migrants themselves. It acknowledges that the Church has recommended various ways of addressing the prevailing situation of migration. After acknowledging the aforesaid, it then proceeds to determine if the Churches’ approaches and interventions to the migration situation are harmonised and integrated. As such, the article is interdisciplinary as it seeks to understand the integration and harmonisation of the churches’ approaches and interventions to the topical issue of migration.


Keywords

World Council of Churches; migration situation; migration challenges; migrants’ challenges; church responses and interventions; strengths and weaknesses of WCC interventions to migration challenges; formation and focus of World Council of Churches

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