Former CWM Moderator Rev. Dr Huang Po Ho delivered the keynote address on the first day of the CWM Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) themed “Break Down the Walls of Division” (Ephesians 2.14). The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Gentiles in Ephesus, who were treated as inferior and excluded by the Jews, pointed out that their new status was the fruit of the work of reconciliation through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to Paul, breaking down the “dividing wall” of hostility between the Gentiles and the Jews was not the ultimate goal, but rather to overcome discrimination and achieve peace and reconciliation between the two groups.
“The theme of this annual meeting is ‘Break Down the Walls of Division,'” Dr Huang said. “This is a theme that is particularly important in today’s world, where we are faced with so many walls of division – religious and cultural discrimination, racial and gender prejudice, political and ideological exclusion, and worldwide geopolitical tension and conflict.”
Highlighting the geopolitical tensions in the current global context, Dr Huang underscored the relevance and timely nature of the theme based on the central message of the Christian faith, which the theologies of modern ecumenical movement are derived from. Also the Director of Academy for Contextual Theologies in Taiwan, Dr Huang acknowledged that over the years, CWM has “implemented many inspiring programmes to combat empires and economic globalisation, and to decolonise different socio-political hegemonic forces.”
Dr Huang also spoke about how walls as products of human spirituality and are meant to protect one’s interests. Walls can take different forms, the Berlin Wall and the South Africa apartheid system and often symbolise exclusion and resistance. He noted that walls, such as the curtain in the Temple and the geopolitical conflicts, are not isolated incidents but part of larger systems of discrimination and power struggles. It calls for unity, reconciliation, and the breaking down of walls to promote peace and justice in the world.