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Atrocity crimes, healing focus of WCC co-sponsored event at UN

“The time has come for healing of memories,” said Fr Michael Lapsley, director of the Institute for Healing of Memories, South Africa, during an event held at the UN headquarters in New York, on 26 April. “This generation will not complete this task, but the next generation will be thankful for the effort.”

Medicines Patent Pool, ViiV Healthcare expand licensing agreement

The World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA) welcomes the 25 April announcement by the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV Healthcare of the geographic extension of their licensing agreement for dolutegravir (DTG) to cover all remaining lower middle-income countries (LMICs). The amendment to the 2014 licence specifically allows generic medicine distribution in four countries with patents – Armenia, Moldova, Morocco and Ukraine – that were not covered in the initial agreement. Dolutegravir is a promising new treatment that was included in the latest WHO guidelines as first- and third-line treatment.

Palestinian Christians face loss of land

A crane began lowering 12-meter concrete slabs into place in the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem in occupied Palestine on 6 April, marking the final phase of construction of an extension to the Israeli separation barrier. The World Council of Churches, through its Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), has been alongside the affected Palestinian community in the valley, both Christian and Muslim, throughout their legal struggle to stop the construction.

Panel discussion fields ideas on European identity

What has contributed to the idea of a “European identity?” And, within a broad-minded vision of secularism, how can churches and other religious communities contribute? In this context, what is the role of Switzerland?

‘Keep hope alive’ for missing archbishops, says WCC general secretary

Three years after the two Syrian archbishops were kidnapped near Aleppo, Syria, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit is keeping hope alive and continuing to pray for their release.

Churches in USA and Holy Land issue peace statement

At the conclusion of a first-ever summit of churches in the USA and the Holy Land, participants issued a peace statement that underscores the theological and ethical urgency for a just peace in the Holy Land.

On Earth Day, churches reflect on “food, faith and El Nino”

As the El Nino weather pattern challenges southern Africa, what is the role of churches in helping people realize their right to food and livelihood?

Churches of the Holy Land attend summit in the United States

Leaders from churches in the Holy Land met with the heads of faith-based organizations and churches in Atlanta, Georgia (United States) on 19-20 April for a summit that explored the role of US churches in peacemaking in the Middle East.

Faith-based refugee workers – Witnessing conditions after EU-Turkey agreement

Following the EU-Turkey refugee agreement, effective 20 March 2016, the Greek islands are again a changed place. Where refugees have arrived in great numbers in the past years, and where they have engaged a whole community of local, national and international aid workers and volunteers, the situation is now dramatically different.

WCC concerned by penalization of encounter between South and North Korean Christians

In a letter to Park Geun-hye, president of South Korea, the WCC expressed disappointment over sanctions and fines imposed on members of the National Council of Churches in (South) Korea after they participated in a dialogue encounter with representatives of the (North) Korean Christians Federation.

Latin American Council of Churches adopts new structure

"With living hope, we invite our member churches to renew and strengthen our joint testimony and continue to raise their voices and working for abundant life,” said Rev. Milton Mejía, general secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), as he announced a new structure for the region’s largest ecumenical body on 14 April.

WCC conference explores ecological injustice in Uganda

“Science and religion can provide solutions to poverty and injustice.” This was the theme of the 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Alternatives for Poverty Reduction and Ecological Justice (SAPREJ) in Kampala, Uganda, on 4-7 April. The conference was organized by the Kyambogo University and the WCC economic and ecological justice programme.

Pope, Ecumenical Patriarch, and Archbishop of Athens send message of concern for refugees

Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece met on the Greek island of Lesvos on 16 April to demonstrate their concern for the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who have come to Europe fleeing from situations of conflict and, in many cases, daily threats to their survival.

WCC Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network plans future growth

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (WCC-EDAN) will flourish and become a source of increasing education and dialogue, said the programme’s leaders at a meeting in Kenya on 10-15 April.

WCC visitors to US enter conversations on racial matters in the USA

In the Washington DC region on 18 April, Jim Winkler, general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, welcomed a contingent from the WCC who, with others, will be spending 18-25 April on a WCC-sponsored racial justice listening and support visit to several US communities which have suffered violent incidents related to race.

What does ending AIDS mean? Faith-based groups share honest messages

“Act now, not later.” Dr David Barstow chose this message for a photo featured in the “100-day countdown” to a United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting on HIV in New York on 8-10 June.

Study, worship and engage on issues theologically, Archbishop of Canterbury urges Anglican Consultative Council

The Anglican Communion needs to be “aware of the great crises of our times,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said in a presidential address to members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Lusaka, Zambia.

Palestinians fight for water justice as Israelis dominate resources, says Khoury

For Hind Khoury the issue of water justice is quite simple. She believes there is no water justice in Palestine because access to clean water for drinking and sanitation exists in Israel but not in the Palestinian territories it occupies.

Primate of Hong Kong elected as new chair of Anglican Consultative Council

The archbishop and primate of Hong Kong, Rev. Dr Paul Kwong, has been elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

Aboriginal elder welcomes Canadian churches’ endorsement of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Canadian church leaders issued a joint statement endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and promising to implement its principles. Doreen Spence, an aboriginal Canadian who was one of the architects of the declaration, welcomes the move.