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Prayers for peace in Palestine and Israel

Prayerful biblical reflections marked the end of the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel in a service on 29 September at the Ecumenical Centre chapel in Geneva, Switzerland.

Churches and agencies formulate responses to Ebola outbreak

To respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which has taken more than 3,000 lives, the WCC brought to the table representatives of Christian aid organizations and United Nations agencies to learn from each other and to escalate their efforts.

WCC general secretary welcomes Muslim scholars’ letter

The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has welcomed publication of an open letter by a group of 126 Muslim scholars to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (IS) and his followers.

New arms treaty set to take effect soon amid rising concern at armed conflicts

Eight more governments are ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty during this week’s high-level meetings at the United Nations. The latest actions mean that 53 governments, including several lobbied by the member churches of the WCC, have ratified the new treaty. The treaty will now come into effect by the end of 2014.

New UN document opens door for churches to do more for indigenous rights

Scattered throughout the recent history of Indigenous Peoples are national treaties, declarations and laws that languish in obscurity or are brushed aside and ignored.

Indigenous faith leaders reflect on resilience and climate change

Indigenous peoples have a role to play in the struggle against climate change, indigenous faith leaders said during a panel at the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change held at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

Weaving together personal faith and climate change

Weaving together personal faith and climate change

Although climate change is often thought of as something external to an individual person, it is interwoven with personal spirituality, as well. This was the conclusion of a panel of three faith leaders during a session at the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change held on 22 September.

Heal the earth, fight against climate change

Heal the earth, fight against climate change

Two phoenix sculptures hung suspended from the ceiling, their bodies dotted with lights and their tail feathers unfurling above the heads of the faith leaders and adherents who gathered in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for an interfaith service on 21 September in New York.

Interfaith declaration on climate change

As hundreds of thousands of people flooded through the streets of New York City on 21 September in a march for action on climate change, 30 faith leaders representing nine religions signed their names to a statement calling for concrete actions to curb carbon emissions.

Prayers and action during World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

To commemorate the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel this year, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has encouraged and invited expressions of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners unjustly detained in Israeli jails.

Geneva fasting day features reflections on “living together in diversity”

Geneva fasting day features reflections on “living together in diversity”

Gathering a diverse representation from migrant communities in Geneva, affirming expressions of solidarity and promoting social justice for “people on the move”, a public event marked Jeûne genevois (Geneva’s traditional Thursday observation of fasting and prayer). The annual civic holiday was celebrated on 11 September at the Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.

Church voices address statelessness at The Hague Global Forum

A set of recommendations advocating the rights of stateless persons was presented by a World Council of Churches (WCC) delegation at the First Global Forum on Statelessness organized by the UNHCR and Tilburg University in The Hague, Netherlands.

Human rights defender Charles Harper honoured by Argentinian government

A former WCC official, Rev. Charles Harper, has been honoured with the Order Comendador de Mayo, a high decoration of the Argentine government for his emblematic legacy of struggles for human rights in the ecumenical movement.

To save the earth, all must change their ways, says Ecumenical Patriarch

“If we are to respond to the ecological crisis in a responsible and substantial way, we must move beyond mere talk to practical action,” said Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in an official message to the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change to be held this week in New York City.

Tamara Grdzelidze appointed Georgian ambassador to the Vatican

Dr Tamara Grdzelidze, an Orthodox theologian and former staff member of the WCC, has been received as the nation of Georgia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, presenting her credentials to Pope Francis at the Vatican this September.

Displaced Iraqis appeal for security and tolerance

Displaced by the armed offensive of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and their brutal purge of Yazidis and Christians, along with Sufi, Shiite and Sunni Muslims, from northern Iraq, members of these communities have begun to speak out about their experiences, their longing for security, and their hopes for the future.

Young theologians explore ways of furthering ecumenical formation

New forms of ecumenical formation, as well as ways of enhancing ecumenical contributions from young people in churches and societies, were discussed by fifteen young theologians in a meeting convened by the WCC.

Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the “pilgrimage of justice and peace”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby generously granted an interview on the subject of “the pilgrimage of justice and peace” last week in São Paulo, Brazil. His visit to Brazil was part of a personal journey that has taken Welby to 31 Anglican provinces around the world since his enthronement as archbishop in 2013.

Churches advocate for the rights of stateless people

To give visibility to the voices of stateless people in our society as well as to strategize together in how to support protection of their rights, a consultation was held by church organizations in Den Dolder, the Netherlands, in preparation of the UNHCR First Global Forum on Statelessness to be held from 15 to 17 September in The Hague.

Prayers, reflections and action during “Time for Creation”

Invoking prayers for creation, eco-justice and peace with the earth, Time for Creation, a Christian global event, is observed worldwide by many member churches of the WCC. This year, the Council has invited a focus on the theme “pilgrimage of justice and peace” – a call issued by the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea in 2013.