What is ecumenism?

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Ecumenism is a movement among various Christian groups and denominations to promote some kind of unity among themselves in terms of cooperation with various causes and projects and greater understanding of each others’ practices and activities. This term is often used and interchanged with any interdenominational movement within the Christian community. Christian groups and organizations that are invited to take part in ecumenical movements are those that got separated in the past because of religious practices, doctrine, and basic historical background.

The basic though of ecumenism is that the world of Christianity deserves one united church that knows no particular denomination or Christian entity. Any movement that promotes this kind of cooperation between different Christian churches are considered ecumenical in nature and purpose. The term “ecumenism” is said to have rooted from the Greek work “oikoumene” which was reflected in various books in the Bible’s New Testament. This term was used to describe much of the Earth’s inhabitants and this was later translated to all of the people in the Earth united with one common goal and purpose and that is to serve God. With this thought in mind, ecumenism is promoted by various religious groups and organizations in Christian communities worldwide.

Many people believe that ecumenism started with the Roman Catholic Church’s effort in promoting cooperation and reconciliation with other Christian groups that separated because of some theological reasons in the past. This Christian unification movement was said to be very evident after World War I wherein many people from different Christian denominations were in deep need of spiritual hope and blessing. The activities that were started back then by the Roman Catholic Church and other big Christian churches like the Orthodox Church eventually led to various ecumenical movements supported by different Christian churches around the world. The main understanding was that people can be supported with their needs regardless of their Christian denomination and that churches must promote unity and cooperation in this kind of way.


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