The Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) is facing a dire financial crisis that will affect the viability of the ecumenical organization unless it soon receives an influx of funds.

"By the end of the year, despite strict expenditure control and savings, the general funds and reserves available will have been used up," WCC General Secretary Konrad Raiser wrote in July, seeking direct aid from member churches and supporting organizations. "Income is no longer sufficient to pay for the present activities in which the Council is engaged."

The WCC, which spent $81 million last year, plans to eliminate 42 of its 276 staff positions. By the end of the year, the agency's work force will be one-third less than in 1991.

Raiser says the WCC is going through a decline in income that "has been greater and lasted longer than anticipated, and shows no sign of improvement." One reason is that only 156 of 330 member churches paid the required minimum of $800 in annual dues to the WCC last year.

Copyright 1996, Christianity Today International/Christianity Today Magazine
Vol. 40, No. 10, Page 112

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