The Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) describes itself as a “fellowship of 349 churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service.” Founded in August of 1948, the WCC began as a moderate ecumenical council whose goal was to alleviate poverty and to aid displaced peoples. Starting in the 1960s, the WCC became a champion of a variant of religious Marxism, known as Liberation Theology. The council soon put its new-found ideology into practice, directly funding violent revolution through its “Program to Combat Racism.” Recent evidence has shown that the KGB and its Bulgarian intelligence affiliate were able to infiltrate the WCC and influence its policy. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the WCC continued to advocate global socialism and to criticize American foreign policy and Israel, and to warn of the dangers posed by man-made global warming.
Before the Eastern Bloc churches joined the WCC in 1961, KGB and Bulgarian intelligence had already chosen the WCC as an “object of penetration.” During the next two decades, the KGB was able to get a number of its operatives elected to top positions in the WCC. In the 1960s, Bulgaria’s Todor Sabev served on the WCC’s Central and Executive Committees, eventually becoming deputy general secretary in 1979. In 1975, the Russian Orthodox bishop Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad became a president of the Council. These members influenced the WCC to criticize U.S. foreign policy, while ignoring Soviet human rights abuses.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the WCC funded the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a group that praised Fidel Castro’s Marxist policies and fiercely lobbied for Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime. The WCC has continued its support of Communist Cuba, advocating a lifting of the Cuban blockade and championing “the resilience and creativity of the Cuban people against great imperial odds.” The WCC has also supported and funded a number of the most vicious insurgencies and totalitarian regimes in Africa. In the early 1970s, the Council gave aid to the Marxist insurgency known as the Liberation Front of Mozambique, also known as FRELIMO, before it seized power in. In the late 1970s, the WCC funded Robert Mugabe’s Patriotic Front revolution in Rhodesia and viewed his 1980 usurpation of power as divinely ordained.
The WCC has consistently denounced Israel and championed the Palestinian cause. At the 2001 United Nations World Conference on “Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” in Durban, South Africa, the WCC demanded an official denunciation of Israel for “systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing.” Echoing the Council’s long-held beliefs in a 2009 address, Samuel Kobia, chief of the WCC, attacked Israel’s “occupation” as a “sin against God.” He went on to call Israel’s founding a “catastrophe” and a “form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ that saw the largest forced migration in modern history.”
Once an opponent of capitalism, the WCC now contends that capitalism needs to be “reformed” by an international body. Sponsoring a panel at the 2009 World Social Forum, the WCC argued that the global economic downturn provided an opportunity to push “for long-overdue, radical reforms” to the capitalist system, particularly in terms of radical environmental policies that liberate people from the “logic of private profit.” “We need to abandon the model of unlimited economic growth,” Bertille Darragon advised the WCC, “and start thinking in terms of ‘de-growth’ décroissance — that is, to decrease the consumption of resources and energy, beginning with the very rich but including the middle classes both in the North and the South.” Speaking at the Forum, Marta Ruiz, a member of the financial crisis caucus to which the WCC belongs, appealed for an end to the dollar’s “supremacy,” “state and citizen control of banks,” and the cancellation of the debt of developing countries.