THE CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE OF ASIA (CCA)
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE CCA TO THE 12TH GENERAL SYNOD OF THE
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA
The Rt Rev‟d Dr Philip Freier,
Bishop of the Northern Territory.
The Christian Conference of Asia began as the East Asia Christian Conference,
which was constituted by a decision of churches, national councils of churches and
national Christian councils whose representatives met at Prapat, Indonesia, in March
1957. It was inaugurated at an assembly at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in May 1959. In
the light of changing circumstances the 1973 Assembly, meeting in Singapore,
agreed to change the name to Christian Conference of Asia (CCA). In doing so, it
retained the purpose of the East Asia Christian Conference and provided for
continuing work along the same or similar lines.
Churches joining the CCA are those that confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and
Saviour according to the scriptures and that therefore seek to fulfil their common
calling to the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. National councils or similar
bodies joining CCA must be councils or bodies that approve this basis.
CCA is comprised of nearly 100 member churches and 14 member councils that
cover a geographical region including Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia,
Bangladesh, Hong Kong SAR China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Japan, Korea,
Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. The
churches of the Pacific and Melanesia are not part of this grouping (although Papuan
churches of Irian Jaya are, on account of being a part of Indonesia). This is a strong
ecumenical grouping which is forging important links outside of its traditional
membership, something that was emphasised by the attendance at the two meetings
called of the Asia regional grouping (co-terminus with CCA) amongst delegates at
the World Council of Churches General Assembly, November 1998, Harare,
The election of Ms Margaret Rodgers as a member of the four-person presidium of
CCA at the 10th Assembly in Colombo helped to ensure that the Anglican Church of
Australia made a strong contribution to the work of CCA between assemblies. The
work of CCA is administered by a General Committee which met twice since the
Adelaide General Synod: November 1998 in Kerala, India and May 2000 in
The Christian Conference of Asia met for its 11th General Assembly over the period
1-6 June 2000 in Tomohon, Indonesia. A full report of the activity between the
Colombo Assembly in 1995 and the 11th General Assembly is contained in the
report: Colombo to Tomohon, Christian Conference of Asia 1995-2000. Additional
information can also be found at the CCA Website: www.cca.org.hk
The Anglican Church has continued a vigorous representation in the new presidium,
with two of the four presidents belonging to the Anglican Communion: the Rev‟d
Jenny Dawson from Aotearoa New Zealand and Dr Wong Wai Ching from Hong
Kong. The Honorary Treasurer is Mr Israel Poulraj of the Anglican Church, Sri
Dr Ahn Jae Woong (Presbyterian Church of Korea) formerly an Assistant General
Secretary and director of Urban/Rural Mission has been appointed the new General
Secretary to succeed Dr Feliciano Carino, (United Church of Christ in the
Australian participation on CCA committees is: The Rev. John Gilmore, (Churches of
Christ), General Committee; Program Area committees: Ms Rachel Kronberger,
(Uniting Church), Faith Mission and Unity; The Rev. Dr James Haire, (Uniting
Church), Justice, International Affairs, Development and Service; The Rev. Cathy
Thomson, (Anglican), Ecumenical Formation, Gender Justice and Youth
Program activities initiated by CCA include:
A meeting of Asia NCC General Secretaries in New Dehli on 18-19
CCA- Roman Catholic Church relations
AMCU, Asia Movement for Christian Unity,
AMCU II, Bali, Indonesia, 9-14 January 1998
AMCU III, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 27 January-1 February 2001
CCA participation in the special assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops,
Rome, April-May 1999
Middle Eastern Council of Churches
Collaboration with the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, including
participation of Associate General Secretary in conference, „Christian
Apologetics in a Pluralistic Context‟, Cyprus, 2-6 February 1998.
CCA team visited Kuwait and United Arab Emirates to address the
issue of Asian migrant workers, 21-23 May 1998.
MECC General Assembly, Lebanon, 26-30 April 1999, Assoc Gen Sec
Roundtable in 1999
Since 1974, CCA member Churches and councils have celebrated Asia
Sunday on the Sunday before Pentecost. The day commemorates the
founding of the East Asia Christian Conference (now CCA) on 14 May 1959.
Themes for the previous years have been: 1998, North Korea: Give them Life,
1999, Myanmar: Lord, Heal Us!, 2000, Indonesia: Fullness of Life for All.
A fully revised version of the Hymnal, “Sound the Bamboo” was launched at
the Tomohon Assembly. The editorial team included The Rev‟d James
Minchin, of Australia along with Dr I-to Loh and Dr Francisco Feliciano.
Asia Conference on Church and Society
Northern Territory University, Darwin, 23-30 September 1999.
Asia Conference of Theological Students
Kuala Lumpur, October 2001.
Mission and Evangelism National Programs included;
1998: Indonesia, Taiwan, India
1999: Ecumenical enablers‟ program, Bangkok, Thailand.
Asia Ecumenical Course
4-30 October 1998, Thailand, “Towards inclusive community‟
May-June 2000, Indonesia, “Time for fullness of life for all”
HIV-AIDS and Migrant Concerns
7-13 June 1998, Thailand
1-5 December 1999, Sabah, Malaysia.
24-27 February 2000, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Women Artist’s Workshop
July 1998, Bali, Indonesia
Youth training initiatives
October 1998, Pakistan
Feb-March 2000, Thailand
Youth Consultation on Globalisation, Malaysia, 1998
Workshop on rights of Indigenous and Tribal People in South East Asia,
Development and Service initiatives, International Affairs
Extensive consultation and training events in collaboration with National
Councils of Churches and other ecumenical partners.
The foregoing initiatives are by no means exhaustive but represent the breadth of
CCA initiative across Asia. CCA has been active in issues of religious freedom and
Church-State relations in Asia as well as taking the initiative for peace and
reconciliation in conflict situations in Asia. The latter initiatives have involved
delegations to Korea, the Maldives and North East India in addition to the formation
of an East Timor Task Force.
Anglican Church of Australia membership of CCA provides a valuable link with the
diversity of Christianity in Asia and demonstrates a valued solidarity with these
churches that mostly exist in minority situations.