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WCC expresses grave concern over forcible relocation plans in Palestine

On 20 March 2017, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) delivered a statement on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

In rural Kenya, many people face long trek for household water

Like many people brought up in rural Kenya, Catherine Mwangi had a long walk to fetch water for home use from a nearby river in what she calls her “humble upbringing”. For the past seven years, Mwangi has been the executive director ADSMKE (the Anglican Development Services of Mount Kenya East) and water access is an important issue in her work.

WCC offers condolences in wake of Great Britain attack

As Great Britain continued to cope with grief and trauma in the wake of the country’s deadliest terror attack in 12 years, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit offered sympathy for those who lost loved ones from both Great Britain and other countries.

Ecumenical Review discusses Pope Francis’s contribution to ecumenical dialogue

As Pope Francis marks the fourth anniversary of his election, the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the WCC, opens with an article discussing the ecumenical gestures that have marked his pontificate, one of the most striking being his presence at the joint Catholic–Lutheran Reformation commemoration in Lund in 2016.

On World Water Day, we ask: “why waste water?”

As World Water Day is observed across the world on 22 March, Prof. Jesse N.K. Mugambi reflects: “The great challenge is how to reduce the cost of treating wastewater, especially in the equatorial and tropical zones.”

UN discussion focuses on women, HIV and property rights

“She is HIV positive too. No need to inherit her late husband’s title deed. She will die soon and leave it anyway.” These man’s thoughts during his brother’s funeral were used by Jane Ng’ang’a, national coordinator, International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (INERELA+) Kenya Chapter, to push the debate on property and inheritance rights linked to HIV. The discussion was held during the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on 16 March, at the headquarters of UNAIDS, in New York.

Partnership and mapping are a priority for WCC health and healing programme executive Mwai Makoka

Working as a medical doctor in his home country Malawi seems to have given Dr Mwai Makoka ideal experience for his task of programme executive for Health and Healing at the WCC. He has experience in medical microbiology, HIV and AIDS, working for both government and church-based institutions after graduating as a doctor in Malawi, a country accustomed to working with church-run hospitals.

Lent is “time for water justice”

Lent is a time to think about justice, particularly water justice, said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit during a sermon on 20 March at the Ecumenical Centre chapel in Geneva, Switzerland.

Islam and Christianity: finding the common ground

Linked to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue organized a side event on 15 March exploring "Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working jointly towards equal citizenship rights". World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was among the panellists.

Right to citizenship means one humanity, reflects WCC general secretary

At the United Nations Office at Geneva on 15 March, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit joined a panel speaking on the theme “Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working jointly towards equal citizenship rights.”

In Lebanon, refugees face hardship - but find hope

The fifteenth of March 2017, marks the sixth year since the start of the Syrian war. Lebanon, being a small Middle Eastern country facing constant political and national unity challenges with a population of approximately 450,000 Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, has been the shelter for more than 2 million registered Syrian refugees since 2011.

Hope and history on the agenda as WCC leadership convenes

The leadership of the WCC Central Committee met in Geneva on 14-15 March to prepare for the Executive Committee meeting in June in Geneva. The WCC continues to focus on its pilgrimage of justice and peace, preparations for the 11th Assembly in 2021 as well as its upcoming 70th anniversary. The WCC was formed in October 1948 in Amsterdam. During 2018, the WCC fellowship will not only celebrate significant milestones in the history of the WCC but also continue to address modern injustices and the ongoing struggle for a just peace.

“Water means life,” says German advocate for sustainability

Andrea Müller-Frank works as the Right to Food officer at the Policy Department of the German Bread for the World. Since December 2016 she has been co-chair of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network (EWN), which fights for water justice worldwide.

USA pastors reflect on Holy Land pilgrimage

In mid-February, 16 African-American pastors from the USA toured the Holy Land to learn more about the Israel and Palestine conflict. The visit was an initiative by the Lott Carey Global Christian Missional Community and led by its president, Rev. Dr Alyn E. Waller, who is a senior pastor at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

‘Power of forgiveness’ frees humanity for unity witnessed at German Reconciliation service, says Tveit

When it comes to healing memories, the “power of forgiveness” can free up the way for the common witness that the world we live in desperately needs, the World Council of Churches general secretary has said. WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, spoke at the ecumenical penance and reconciliation service in Hildesheim, Germany on 11 March, which he praised as an “encouraging sign of unity in the world”.

Dilma Rousseff visits the WCC

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), received former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Ecumenical Centre on 10 March, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Plenty of water, but poor provision, is too often the refrain for Arnold Temple

Some of Africa’s dry nations might at first glance with envy at Sierra Leone which has a rainy season lasting six months every year in which many of the downpours are torrential. Rev. Arnold Temple, a Sierra Leonean Methodist minister and co-chair of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, describes challenges relating to water in the region.

Religious leaders in Cyprus unite against violence towards women

Religious leaders in Cyprus stood together against violence towards women and girls, releasing a first-ever official joint statement on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day.

WCC gravely concerned over Israel’s travel ban

The World Council of Churches (WCC) today expressed grave concern about a new law passed on Monday by the Knesset which reportedly forbids granting entry visas to foreign nationals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The ‘Entry to Israel Act (Denial of Visa to Non-Residents Who Knowingly Call for a Boycott on Israel)’ apparently makes no distinction between boycotting Israel proper and boycotting products of the settlements, which are widely considered illegal under international law.

WCC general secretary joins UN dialogue on interreligious peace

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit joined other speakers at a side event of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 7 March. The speakers, which also included Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, addressed the topic of “Mutual Respect and Peaceful Coexistence as a Condition of Interreligious Peace and Stability: Supporting Christians and Other Communities.”