Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    July 31, 1997

    Georgian Orthodox Church Leaves World Council of Churches

    The Georgian Orthodox Church in the former Soviet Republic of George voted on May 20 to leave the World Council of Churches (WCC). This was the first time since the council's formation in 1948 that an Orthodox church has left the WCC.

    Three hundred and thirty of the world's Anglican, Protestant, and Orthodox churches belong to the WCC, an ecumenical organization. The leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, was president of the WCC from 1979 to 1983. The Georgian church, which also voted to withdraw from the ecumenical Conference of European Churches, has been debating in recent months whether to cease ecumenical activities.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson