Original Research - Special Collection: NRCA Dedication

Ecumenical movement for millennials: A generation connected but not yet united

Yolanda Pantou
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 1 | a4735 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i1.4735 | © 2017 Yolanda Pantou | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 2017 | Published: 15 November 2017

About the author(s)

Yolanda Pantou, Gereja Kristen Indonesia (Indonesia Christian Church), Indonesia; Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In this article the notion ‘ecumenism’ is defined as a connecting movement of reconciling diversity, and the focus is on young people, referred to as ‘millennials’ living in the present-day global village. It addresses the youth’s interests or disinterests in the ‘institutionalised’ ecumenical movement. The following aspects are reflected upon: how ecumenism speaks to the youth; how ecumenism does not speak to the youth; and how to make ecumenism great again for the youth. It discusses young people’s perspectives on the world with regard to religion and tradition, sources of authority, issues of segregation and discrimination, ‘nomadic’ and a mentality which causes that one cannot expect them to stay in one church from baptism until death. The article reflects on the youth’s disposition to human realities concerning aspects such as the ecological crisis, global inequality, religious fundamentalism, violence and oppression, and the lack of a sense of belonging. The article concludes with some initiatives of the World Council of Churches to which young people can make a contribution.


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