The World Council of Churches (WCC) will be holding its 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea when it convenes again in 2013, as voted by the WCC's Central Committee on Aug. 31.
The vote was cast after hours of tense deliberation, finally being decided by the unconventional method of secret ballot. Busan received 70 out of the 129 total votes, followed by Damascus in Syria with 59. Two other candidates, Rhodes in Greece, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, fell out of the race earlier in the meeting.
A report by the Policy Reference Committee read that the Korea location, "holds the possibility of the WCC's inter-relating with the dynamic spirituality of new and emerging churches of Evangelical and Pentecostal families, as well as for witnessing to the possibilities for reconciliation and the peaceful reunification of divided Korea."
WCC Moderator the Rev Dr Walter Altmann commented after the vote that the WCC is, "looking forward to the hard work of preparation for Busan … and we are asking for God's blessing on our Assembly when it takes place in 2013."
The last WCC Assembly, held every seven years, was held in 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
The WCC is an ecumenical fellowship of 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries.