THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES NAIROBI ASSEMBLY AND AFRICA
VOLUME 3 No. 1 March 1976
Published by the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar (A E.A.M.), RalphBunche Road, P.O. Box 49332, Nairobi, Kenya. Printed by Kesho Press, P.O. Box 40, Kijabe,Kenya.
The morning that he died, Dr. Byang Kato, General Secretary of the A.E.A.M., began writing the first draft of this report. He finished only the first two pages. Dr. Kato had not left us entirelywithout his overall evaluation of the WCC Assembly, however. The day before departing to the sea coast for a one week working holiday with his family, he had spoken at the annual conference of the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya. He gave them a summary of his impressions of the 5th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which he had attended as an observer for the A.E.A.M. This message was recorded and has been transcribed. In addition Dr. Kato had written a guest editorial at the close of the Assembly for theTHEOLOGICAL NEWS bulletin of the World Evangelical Fellowship. And on the final day of the Assembly he had written an article dealing especially with the problem of syncretism versusevangelism at the 5th Assembly. From these materials we have compiled and edited thiscomposite report. Many people, not only in Africa but elsewhere, were looking forward to Dr. Kato's reaction tothis first meeting of the WCC on African soil. His perception and leadership among evangelicalsin Africa made his views significant. For that reason we have taken care to compile this report in Dr. Kato's own words, although that means that the style at times is more informal (where it istaken from an oral presentation) and lacks some of the documentary illustrations that would have characterised his written report. In his verbal report Dr. Kato used the device of direct quotation to paraphrase remarks made at the Assembly. Please note that we have retained this oratorical style and have used quotationmarks for statements that are probably summaries of what was said rather than exact quotes. A separate section at the back of this PERCEPTION contains additional observations and notes onthe Assembly.The Editor
THE SCENE AT THE NAIROBI 5th ASSEMBLY
The Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches brought into Nairobi over 600 journalistsas compared to 676 delegates and 318 other participants. Obviously there will be a wide coverageof this first historic ecumenical gathering on African soil. This is not intended, therefore, to be athorough reporting of the 18 days' events. Rather, it is a statement of my impressions of theAssembly and how much influence it is likely to have or not to have on Africa. It is a challengeto ecumenically minded people to think more biblically, and a warning to the non-ecumenicalreaders against the unscriptural trends of the World Council of Churches. Any good lessons of