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Humanitarian Partnership Conference focuses on inclusive practices

Including persons with disabilities and the aged in humanitarian practices was the theme for the 4th annual International Humanitarian Partnership Conference in Nairobi on 21-22 September. More than 140 humanitarian practitioners, academicians and advocates met for the conference, organized by the Inter Agency Working Group on Disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa (IAWG). The theme was “Disability and Age Inclusion in Humanitarian Practice: Scaling up inclusive practices toward the achievement of Agenda 2030.”

Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions issued at global conference

Leading religious scholars representing the major world religions have issued a declaration saying it is imperative that religions be a “positive resource for human rights”. The Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions was released 15 September in Montreal, Canada at the 3rd Global Conference on World’s Religions after September 11.

WCC’s Bossey institute celebrates 70 years with array of events

The Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey is observing its 70th anniversary with notable speakers, creative worship, prayer services and a book launch, over the weekend of 30 September - 2 October.

WCC holds discussion on religious freedom literacy and diplomacy

A panel discussion “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy” was organized during the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council by the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

At the “Moral Imperative” table, ecumenical organizations help hone priorities

At the second-ever convening of the Moral Imperative in New York City on 22 September, advocates from faith-based groups joined World Bank representatives and UN officials to discern the next steps for a diverse group of people trying to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Religious leaders of many faiths talk peace in Assisi

Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders met this week in Assisi to discuss peace, while across the ocean in New York City global political leaders assembled at the United Nations also focussed on a troubled world.

Faith-based groups bring hope for a fast-track HIV response

"If there ever was a time to change words into action, it is today", said U.S. ambassador-at-large Deborah L. Birx, M.D., coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, at an interfaith prayer breakfast held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 20 September.

WCC general secretary reflects on peace in Palestine and Israel

The WCC is committed to a just peace in Palestine and Israel with a view that this conflict is about justice with deep moral dimensions that must be given proper weight by all if we are to reach a lasting solution. Religion can both contribute to the increase of the level of conflict, or help establish peace. Read the interview with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

Churches Together in England encourages shared prayer time

The six presidents of the organization Churches Together in England are encouraging all churches to pray together through an initiative called “Thy Kingdom Come.” The effort focuses on praying for Christ’s transforming love to bring hope and joy to all.

Contributing to God’s mission takes many forms, finds gathering in Cuba

How does missional formation transform discipleship? A consultation in Cuba from 10-16 September explored this question and others related to the text Together Towards Life. The gathering was coordinated by the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism as part of an ongoing quest to explore the means and methodologies for the practical application of Together Towards Life in the life of WCC member churches and mission community.

Germany’s Protestant and Catholic churches pledge "healing of memories" to mark Reformation anniversary

Germany’s main Protestant and Roman Catholic churches have published a “Common Word” for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 in which they call for a “healing of memories” of past divisions and for the event to be commemorated in ecumenical fellowship.

Peacebuilding and migrants are future foci of Roman Catholic-WCC working group

Roman Catholic and WCC representatives are forging new ways of working together on today’s most pressing issues.

WCC book featured in UN discussion on gender, religions and health

“Dignity, Freedom, and Grace: Christian Perspectives on HIV, AIDS and Human Rights,” a book published earlier this year by the WCC, will be among reports discussed at a 20 September event with the theme “Keeping the Faith in Development: Gender, Religions & Heath.”

More than showing up to sing a song: Building understanding and joint action between people living with HIV and religious leaders

Being open about living with HIV can still be daunting and damaging, even some 30 years into the response to the virus. The pernicious stigma that cleaves to testing positive, remains one of the main barriers to a truly effective response. While billions of dollars have been spent over the last few decades to tackle HIV and AIDS scientifically and medically, with huge gains in prevention and treatment, social and cultural barriers still remain in what is the greatest epidemic in modern history.

Meeting in Greece explores ecological concerns from Christian perspective

The Association Internationale pour l’ Education Sociale Chretienne (AIESC), or International Association for Social Christian Teaching, held its 30th anniversary meeting at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece from 2-3 September.

WCC general secretary echoes concerns of Brazilian churches

“The remarkable development to overcome poverty in Brazil has been an inspiration for many others, and it is extremely important that justice for the poor continues to be on the agenda for the leadership of Brazil”, said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. Tveit has been in São Paulo, Brazil, from 7 – 9 September, attending the Pentecostal World Conference and meeting local church leaders.

WCC set to observe World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel

Prayers, advocacy and action need to continue so Israelis and Palestinians can exist side by side, and live in peace, wrote WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a letter to WCC member churches this week.

End occupation in the Holy Land, urge faith leaders at USA consultation

At a joint consultation on the Holy Land, the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA released a statement calling for an end to the denial of rights and generations of suffering in the Holy Land.

Jeûne genevois, a “religious” holiday linked to the history of Geneva

Many people are unsure of why Geneva has a public holiday on a Thursday early every September. Jeûne genevois, or “Genevan fast,” is a public holiday in the Swiss canton of Geneva, observed on the Thursday following the first Sunday of September. Religious in origin, it is celebrated by Christians as a holy day involving sacrifice.

WCC expresses concern, calls for support, as food crisis unfolds in Nigeria

Only weeks after the WCC and the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought joined Nigerian Christians and Muslims to launch the International Centre for Inter-Faith Peace and Harmony, in Kaduna, Nigeria, a dire food crisis calls the attention of churches and partners around the globe.