World Council of Churches (WCC)

Christian ecumenical organization founded in 1948 in Amsterdam. It functions as a forum for Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations, which cooperate through the WCC on a variety of undertakings and explore doctrinal similarities and differences. It grew out of two post-World War I ecumenical efforts, the Life and Work Movement (which concentrated on practical activities) and the Faith and Order Movement (which focused on doctrinal issues and the possibility of reunion). The impetus for these two organizations sprang from the International Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, the first such cooperative effort since the Reformation. The Roman Catholic church, though not a member of the WCC, sends representatives to its conferences. The more fundamentalist Protestant denominations have also refused to join.

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