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#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

WCC says future of Jerusalem must be a shared one

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit addressed the status of Jerusalem at the international "World Conference in Support of Jerusalem" on 17-18 January in Cairo, Egypt, organized by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh al-Tayyib, under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Churches worldwide prepare for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

From 18-25 January, Christians across the world will bear witness to Jesus’s prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe.” Whether praying together, exchanging preachers, or planning ecumenical services, congregations and parishes will come together in many ways during the World Council of Churches (WCC) Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

WCC joins many in condemning Trump’s derogatory remarks

The World Council of Churches (WCC) joined ecumenical organizations, churches and congregations as well as many governments across the world in condemning President Trump’s reported remarks on 11 January referring to several nations as “s***thole” countries, and reportedly telling a group of lawmakers that the United States should have more people coming from places such as Norway.

Youth gather in Basel for Taizé pilgrimage

Young adults from more than 60 countries gathered in Basel for the 40th annual Taizé European Meeting of Young Adults from 28 December - 1 January. As part of a new stage of the Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth, the meeting took place for the first time in a tri-national region (Switzerland, Germany, France).

“No single minute is invested in vain” - How an Egyptian doctor promotes dialogue via health work

Freddy Elbaiady has made history as a politician. But what counts most for the 46-year-old Egyptian doctor is his work at the Salam Medical Center in El-Qanatir, north of Cairo. The bridges between Christians and Muslims that are built through this work are sustainable even in times of crisis.

Christians in China warmly receive WCC delegation

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and a WCC delegation are visiting member churches in China from 7-16 January. In a brief interview, Tveit describes the joy of uniting with the China Christian Council to begin celebration of the WCC’s 70th anniversary.

#WCC70: Remembering Orissa

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the WCC. In order to create a lively first-hand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, the WCC general secretary has invited all member churches to contribute stories, which we will bring to you throughout the coming year. The first story in our series was written by Gerard Willemsen, international director of the Uniting Church in Sweden.

As Hollywood speaks out, will other wounded women go deeper in the shadows?

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson has a unique position in observing and advocating for women’s rights or, as she would quickly clarify, “the fair treatment of human beings” no matter what their gender. As bishop-in-residence at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, she ministers to church members who were not only present at this week’s Golden Globe Awards – they were the nominees. And, as vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee, she is part of a global parish, traveling to communities far removed from the privilege of Hollywood, where violence occurs against women who are seen by their own communities as having no voice and no rights.

Zambia statement expresses concern over lack of peace

In a “Statement of National Dialogue” issued 8 January, the Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops stated there can be no peace without justice in Zambia.

WCC 70th anniversary started in Beijing

The visit to China will begin the celebration of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 70th anniversary. In Beijing on 7 January, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit preached in Chongwenmen Church, one of the oldest Protestant churches in China, on the theme “Jesus Christ, the Joy of the World.”

WCC delegation visits China

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and a WCC delegation will visit member churches in China 7-16 January. The historic visit will begin the celebration of the WCC’s 70th anniversary. The WCC delegation, in addition to Tveit, includes WCC Asia president Dr Sang Chang and Rev. Dr Peniel Rajkumar, WCC programme executive for Interreligious Dialogue.

Bible studies for Conference on World Mission and Evangelism are available

Four Bible studies prepared for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism are now available online at WCC website, www.oikoumene.org.

WCC condemns attack against church in Nigeria

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned an attack that occurred on New Year’s Day at the Rivers church in Omuku town, southern Nigeria.

WCC condemns twin attack against Christians in Egypt

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the twin attacks on Coptic Christians in the Helwan area south of Cairo. Ten people died when gunmen tried to storm the Mar Mina church, a Coptic Christian church near the capital Cairo in Egypt, but were intercepted by police. About an hour later, a Coptic-owned shop in the same area was attacked, leaving two dead.

WCC general secretary sends greetings to Taizé gathering

In a letter to Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé Community, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent a message to all those gathered in Basel, Switzerland for the 40th European Meeting of Young Adults organised by the Taizé Community.

Bishop Helga - diaconal apostle

This year it is five hundred years since the Reformation. This has been commemorated throughout the year. A lot has happened in the world. The Reformation is ongoing in churches around the world. Discussions are constantly held about how a church should be today and how to reach out with the gospel. WCC News meets Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien this year, one of the most experienced and prominent women among Lutheran bishops in the world.

Consultation explores multiple religious belonging in Latin American context

A theological consultation in Matanzas, Cuba explored the pastoral and theological questions that the phenomenon of multiple religious belonging poses to Christian churches in Latin America.

Participants in WCC consultation visit projects in Seoul that model ecumenical diakonia

Participants in a 7-11 December consultation on ecumenical diakonia held in Seoul, South Korea, didn’t just talk about the important concept of service. They also took time to visit local projects where Korean Christians are fleshing out their call to actively practice diakonia in the communities they serve.

For Faith and Order, theological reflection hinges on crucial issues of peace, unity

After an historic meeting in South Africa in June 2017, study groups within the WCC Faith and Order Commission are using theological reflection as a tool to build unity between churches. The questions Faith and Order considers are not abstract issues but, in many contexts across the world, matters of life and death.

Ecumenical Review focuses on contemporary ecumenical challenges in Asia

It is time to revitalize the Asian ecumenical movement to respond to contemporary realities in Asia, according to Mathews George Chunakara, general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, in the article that opens the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the WCC.

South Sudan church leaders offer Christmas season roadmap for hope

The people of South Sudan are experiencing the most difficult time in their history of suffering and self-destruction, says the South Sudan Council of Churches, reaching out with an Advent and Christmas message of hope.

Jerusalem: “May all our lives be beacons of justice, peace, love and hope”

There is a warm buzz in the church. Happy reunions. Friends and colleagues reunited. It is a time for goodbyes for some. It is a time of being welcomed for others. Nearly 150 people gathered in St Anne’s Basilica in East Jerusalem to pray for a just peace, for an end to the 50 years of occupation and for the solidarity to be able to live side-by-side in Palestine and Israel. It is time for the ecumenical accompaniers in group 67 to hand over to those in group 68.

Asian church leaders exchange ideas on diaconia

At a consultation in Seoul on December 7-11, participants from churches throughout northeast Asia shared insights on diakonia and how vital it is to the nature and mission of the church.

Trying to do good for the world

When WCC’s long-time partner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, another small but important step towards a safer world was taken. Not only was it a recognition of global efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, but also an affirmation of the role Christian churches have played at local and grassroots levels to raise awareness and mobilize people against nuclear proliferation.