HISTORY OF THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION
The World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission was developed in a three step process over a four year period from 1988-1992.
Step One: A Survey
In step one a major survey was done of WEA members and the broader international Evangelical community to document the extent of religious liberty problems, and to see whether a formal effort on these questions by WEA would be embraced. The results of the survey revealed that significant concerns about religious liberty were evident among Evangelical leaders throughout the world, and over- whelming support for an endeavor by WEA. Many expressed concerns over the inability of many national leaders to speak out on religious liberty because of the lack of international support and advocacy from the Evangelical community.
Step Two: Determining projects, structure, personnel, etc.
Step two consisted of a two-year development process of determining proposed Commission projects, personnel, international representation to be sought for membership; identifying funding sources and which organizations should be consulted for advice; and recommending the kind of structure the Commission adopt.
Step Three: A Three Day Consultation in the Philippines
Step three was a major three-day consultation held June, 1992 in the Philippines in which the significant issues within the context of religious liberty were discussed, and advice given to Commission leadership on the way in which WEA should (or should not) respond to these issues. Some thirty representatives from all over the world participated in this consultation, held just prior to the WEA Ninth General Assembly. The Religious Liberty Commission was formally launched by the General Assembly, with the membership and executive committee approved. Mike Morris of the Evangelical Alliance in the United Kingdom was appointed to direct the Commission’s work.
In 1992, a three year strategic program plan was developed for the WEA RLC. In June 1994, Brian O’Connell of the USA was appointed director of the Commission. He was succeeded in August 1996 by Rev. Johan Candelin of Finland and held office till 2008. In 2009 Mr. Godfrey Yogarajah was appointed as the Executive Director.
Friday, January 21, 2011