NCC’s Fifth World Order Study Conference made staggering commitments in foreign and domestic policy.CHRISTIANITY TODAY’Scoverage of the four-day conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio, last month, follows:

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By sharp criticism of American foreign policy and demand for softer approaches to Russia and Red China, the Fifth World Order Study Conference virtually repudiated major facets of Free World strategy shaped by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, one of the National Council of Churches’ own elder statesmen.

Searching for ecclesiastical “middle ground” in the tense international crisis, 600 delegates from 33 communions met in wind-swept and word-swept Cleveland (where the NCC was formed 8 years earlier) and nudged “the ecumenical Church” to fuller involvement in political affairs. Unanimous support was given early U.S. recognition of mainland China and her admission to the U.N., bolder moves toward U.S. disarmament, and enlarged reliance on the U.N. (see Message to the Churches, Plenary Conference Resolutions, Report on Power Struggle and Security below). The spirited “social action breakthrough” was hailed as an effective prelude to a $35,000,000 ecumenical peace offensive scheduled June, 1959, to June, 1960, in 144,000 NCC churches.

Mr. Dulles himself addressed delegates in Cleveland’s half-filled Music Hall (reflecting grass-roots disinterest in ecumenical affairs). Recalling his participation as an NCC official in earlier studies of world order, he credited mobilization of religious support after the 1942 conference as “a decisive contribution” to formation of the U.N., and described the 1942 “guiding principles” as of enduring worth. In the face of its political overtones, he summoned ...

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