The World Council of Churches couldn't have had a more festive beginning. Its constituting assembly, held in Amsterdam in August 1948, coincided with celebrations of the Dutch royal family — the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Juliana and the coronation of her daughter, Juliana.
The entire city seemed awash in orange, the color of the royal family. Its canals were lighted for the first time since World War II ended. A huge banner bearing the WCC emblem — a small boat with a cross as its mast — hung over the assembly site.
Now the WCC will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the eighth assembly, Dec. 3-14, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Chief among the issues at Harare are demands by some Orthodox churches for changes in the WCC.
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