Reformed networks merge despite visa denials

The new World Communion of Reformed Churches

Visa problems, an ongoing concern for ecumenical gatherings in the Northern Hemisphere, put a damper on the June celebration of the new World Communion of Reformed Churches, a group created by the merger of the two largest networks of churches in the Reformed tradition. Ten percent of the 450 voting delegates who had been expected in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the official ratification of the communion were refused U.S. visas.

At the June 18 opening worship service of the WCRC, which represents a global constituency of 80 million Christians in 108 countries, a banner was unveiled in the Calvin College assembly hall stating, “In honor of the missing 73.” The 73 included 46 voting delegates as well as other participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America who were denied visas, said Susan Davies of the United Church of Christ.


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