Lack of black churches delays launch of new ecumenical group

Both interest and skepticism among black leaders
The launching of a new group that aims to bring Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians in the U.S. together for the first time has been postponed because the effort has received little interest from black churches, leaders said.

The fledgling group, Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT), has struggled to recruit historically black churches, which have been skeptical that their issues would be addressed in the ecumenical organization.

At a meeting June 1-3 in Los Altos, California, 67 leaders from some 31 church bodies decided to postpone a formal launch that was scheduled for September to allow more “productive and positive conversation” with churches that have not yet joined.

The delay—which officials insist can be overcome—highlights the difficulty of undoing decades of mutual suspicion and political differences between churches that have kept them from speaking with a unified voice.

 

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