During the twentieth century many religious leaders used the phrase ecumenical movement to describe various activities aimed at uniting churches and denominations. The ultimate goal of this union is to unite all professing Christians in the world. Some proponents even called for the union of all world religions. The most significant force in this movement is a federation, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its U.S. arm, the National Council of Churches. The magazine The Christian Century is closely associated with the ecumenical movement.
While the goal is laudable (and indeed inevitable before the Second Coming, according to Revelation), the ecumenical movement on the whole tends toward modernist views on the Bible and as such is criticized by fundamentalists. Leaders of the Ecumenical Movement stress cooperation between Christians of different denominations. They translate the Bible more creatively and less specifically. Any possibly divisive terms are softened and made meaningless.