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President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima an opportunity for moral leadership

On the occasion of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 27 May, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent greetings, noting that this is a time when signs of peace and justice are sorely needed.

Refugees on Greek isle say, "We come only for a safe life"

Sitting in a tent at the Souda camp, on the island of Chios in Greece, a Pakistani family of 12 recalls the lives they had in their home country. They had everything except safety. Muhammed and his wife, Asia, along with their 10 children, fled their home country in search of a place where they weren’t constantly fearing for their lives.

Faith-based communities increasingly effective in addressing humanitarian needs, says WCC general secretary

“There is a remarkable change towards acknowledging the role of faith-based communities and their resources to address humanitarian needs,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, during the World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul, Turkey, 23-24 May.

WCC and WEA meet, explore areas of future cooperation

The leadership and representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance and the WCC met in the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland to explore and discuss possible areas of future cooperation.

Ecumenical educators plan global institute

Starting preparations for a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute in the context of the 2018 World Mission Conference in Africa was a tangible result of a meeting of 20 ecumenical educators from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific. They met from 22-24 May in Halle (Germany) at the invitation of the World Council of Churches project on Ecumenical Theological Education.

Norwegian Christians begin pilgrimage from Oslo to Trondheim

From 24 May to 21 June, the Christian Council of Norway (CCN) is promoting a pilgrimage from the Norwegian capital Oslo to Trondheim, an important Christian pilgrimage site and the location of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting from 22-28 June.

WCC video calls for strong action to end AIDS epidemic

“Leave no one behind.” That’s the urgent message of the World Council of Churches’ general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a video released in preparation for a United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York, 8-10 June.

Peace, health and education are Gaza's future

Operating in an area where the needs for humanitarian assistance are enormous and where 43 percent of the population is unemployed – of which 80 percent are youth – has its challenges. Thousands of destroyed homes, a damaged infrastructure, frequent power cuts and a continued blockade don’t make life easy for the 1.8 million inhabitants in tiny Gaza - one of the most densely populated, self-governing territories in the world.

Women and children as refugees under spotlight at CEC summer school

Women and children figure prominently as refugees in mass movements of people in recent months and their rights will be at the forefront of a summer school organized in Greece by the Conference of European Churches.

Parish engages in refugee integration in Halle

Three times a week refugees are invited to Luthergemeinde - or Luther Parish - in central Halle, Germany to visit with parish members. Sometimes they cook and sometimes they just meet to talk and get acquainted. This initiative is a creative effort to integrate some of the 400 refugees that have been placed around the vicinity of the parish.

Global gathering says Reformation’s ‘transformative power’ can change the world today

A global gathering in the German city of Halle has called on churches to be inspired by the tradition of the Reformation to become agents of transformation.

Fruitful consultations in very different contexts

Last Sunday, the “Twin Consultation” on “Reformation – Education – Transformation” wrapped up at the Francke Foundations in Halle, Germany. Held six months after the first consultation in São Leopoldo, Brazil, the five-day session in Halle became a vibrant meeting point and a juncture between different religious contexts from the global North and South.

Christian social activist in India says asking "why" can spark change

In 1982, shortly after Dr Sasiprabha Stanley married, she traveled with her husband to Odisha, in eastern India, to a village called Champakenda. “That was the first time I stepped into another state where I did not know the language. I was a foreigner, simply sitting and watching the women.”

Brainstorming on human rights yields fruitful ideas

“Human rights as a way of life. A new future for humanity.” That’s the vision of Shulamith Koenig, shared during a 12 May brainstorming session on human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

World Communion of Reformed Churches executive committee convenes

Vibrant opening worship held at Luyanó Presbyterian Reformed Church in Havana, Cuba marked the beginning of the executive committee meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Havana, Cuba from 7-13 May. The meeting was hosted by the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba, a member church of the WCC.

Global meeting seeks inspiration from Reformation to transform world

More than 120 people from throughout the world have gathered in the eastern German city of Halle to reflect on how insights from the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago can contribute to transforming the world today.

Tveit offers greetings to Buddhists on the day of Vesakh

In a message to its Buddhist partners, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit offered greetings on the day of Vesakh, which celebrates the founder of the faith, Siddhartha Gautama.

Registration opens for July interfaith pre-conference on AIDS

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is taking registrations and workshop proposals for “Faith on the Fast Track,” an interfaith pre-conference scheduled for 16-17 July in Durban, South Africa.

Syrian crisis poses challenges in Palestinian refugee camps

During the 29 years Virgine Nasrawi has worked in the Talbiah refugee camp, located 40 kilometers south of Amman, the Jordanian capital, she has witnessed many changes. And the sudden influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria, caused by the devastating civil war in that country, is the most dramatic.

African churches commit to working for the elimination of statelessness

“Statelessness renders people’s vulnerability to abuse and to denial of their rights invisible to national authorities. In this sense the right to a nationality is a threshold issue for access to protection of all other human rights - almost a 'right to have rights'”, said Peter Prove, director of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), following a regional training workshop on birth registration and gender discriminatory nationality laws in Africa, organized by the WCC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 11–13 May.