DARE Global Forum opens: “a new world order is radically reshaping”

by Cheon Young Cheol

The Discernment and Radical Engagement (DARE) Global Forum opened on 13 September in Bangkok, Thailand, where Council for World Mission (CWM) General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum reflected on “Liberation Questions: For What and for Whom Are We Decolonising?”

Dr Keum reflected on the grave challenges the world is facing, including economic recession and skyrocketing inflation. “Such crises create divisions and destabilise communities to dominate and rule over the poor and oppressed for the benefit of a few,” he said. “On the other hand, a new world order is radically reshaping.”

Dr Keum thanked what he described as “progressive and subversive theologians” for their work towards collective discernment and radical Engagement” on various critical issues that are pertinent to our contemporary world.

“The global empires are dividing the world and dictating to nations and peoples to be in compliance with their rule of empire and forcing them to take their own side of interests,” explained Dr Keum. “There is competition for militarisation due to insecurity and division.”

He further noted that division, fundamentalism, violence, and discrimination are all on the increase everywhere in the world. “The darker and more violent side of human nature is being manifested overwhelmingly without any shame,” he said. “Greed for power and wealth, violence and resentment are competing to search for victims.”

History is moving backwards in our times, Dr Keum continued. “The empires are being fuelled by the resurgence of neo-Cold War structures, the revival of racism and fascism, and global imperial dictatorship,” he said. “Is this really the world we aspire to live today?”

The struggle for liberation is infinitely complex, Keum said. “CWM, as a community of transforming disciples, dare to let God’s justice and peace shine brightly in the world,” he said. “As the DARE brings progressive theologians, church leaders and social activists into a discerning and creative space, it plays a prominent role in interacting with faith and life, offering vital critique to the socio-economic and political issues of the day, and translating academic work into intellectual activism.”

How will we know whether we really believe in the vision of the new heaven and earth? “Our mission is to reveal this hope from the margins to the world,” concluded Keum. “In a world in which injustice and violence seem almost insuperable, where hatred and racism seem to thrive, and where suffering is so widespread and terrifying, our theological discipleship is costly,” he said. “Our mission is witnessing to a liberating gospel.”

The DARE Global Forum continues in Bangkok until 16 September under the theme “Liberation quest(ion)s.”

Download the full text: GS Opening Address

DARE Global Forum 2023


You may also like