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WCC calls for UN lead role in Iraq

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches has issued a comprehensive statement in the aftermath of the Iraq war, calling for the United Nations to be allowed to work with Iraqis to form a representative, participatory government free of external control.

Ninth WCC Assembly to focus on theme of transforming grace

"God, in your grace, transform the world" will be the theme of the Ninth General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), planned for February 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Disabled people call for a church of all and for all

Disabilities advocates have challenged churches to accept that "We are not a full community without one another."

WCC again has 342 member churches

The WCC Central Committee has accepted an application for membership of the WCC from the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church, formerly a WCC member through the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. Â

General secretary-elect brings African touch to WCC

In his first press conference as World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary-elect, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia spoke of the contribution that he, as an African, intends to bring to his task. Â

US focus next year for WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee has designated the United States as its 2004 focus during the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) (2001-2010).

WCC brings difficult financial situation under control

By focusing on its core programmes and carefully controlling its expenditure, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is overcoming the difficulties it has faced over the past two years, and is now in a healthier financial position.

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia elected as new WCC general secretary

The Rev. Dr Sam Kobia, currently WCC special representative for Africa, has been elected as the new general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Kobia will succeed Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, and will take office in January 2004.

Acceptance speech of newly-elected WCC General Secretary now available

The full text of the acceptance speech of Rev. Dr Sam Kobia, newly elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches, is now available (only in English) at:

Young people ask WCC: "Help us overcome injustice!"

Young people have challenged the World Council of Churches (WCC) to support and encourage today's youth in their efforts to change the world.

WCC welcomes new members

The World Council of Churches' (WCC) Central Committee received into the fellowship one joint church membership and six ecumenical organisations in actions on Tuesday, 26 September.

Two candidates for WCC general secretary position

Following a closed session in which two candidates for the position of WCC general secretary were presented to the Central Committee, the body's moderator, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, released the names of the candidates.

Raiser outlines need for new configuration of ecumenical movement

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser re-affirmed the need for a new configuration of the ecumenical movement in his last report to the Central Committee as World Council of Churches' (WCC) general secretary. Â

CC moderator: interreligious dialogue an ecumenical priority

The moderator of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) Central Committee, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, has called for "dialogue, relations and collaboration with other religions" to have a "high priority" in the Council's ecumenical witness.

WCC condemns bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad

"Deeply shocked by the horrific terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad," the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, sent a letter today to the United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan. Raiser strongly condemns "such unwarranted and unlawful acts that serve no acceptable purpose". He also mourns "the loss of lives of the UN personnel who were in Baghdad to serve the humanitarian needs of the people and work for restoration of the sovereignty of the people of Iraq", and particularly "the untimely death of Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello", who was "an old friend of the World Council of Churches".

The scars of memory - Sculpture exhibition at the Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, to commemorate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda massacres, a selection of sculptures by famous contemporary artist and sculptor Kofi Setordji will be exhibited in Geneva. The exhibition will take place from 26 August to September 24 (Monday to Friday, 08:30-17:00) at the Ecumenical Centre (150, Route de Ferney).

Unity of Christian churches remains centre of ecumenical vision

"All our church traditions are the result of human efforts to witness to the faith in one and the same Lord." That was the view expressed by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser in his sermon at the induction of Bishop Hamilton Mvume Dandala as general secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). The service took place on Sunday 10 August, at the Vista University in Soweto, South Africa.

Overcoming institutionalism: WCC opens discussion on a new configuration of the ecumenical movement for the 21st century

The core vision of ecumenism remains, but ecumenical structures need to be reassessed in order to reflect changing times.

South Asian churches on "long and arduous journey" to peace

Cf. WCC press release PR-03-26 of 28 July 2003

WCC asks churches to respond to Liberia emergency

WCC member churches were asked today to urge their governments to support the immediate deployment of an adequately financed peacekeeping force in Liberia. In a 31 July message to member churches, WCC acting general secretary William Temu also asked them to join churches throughout Africa in ecumenical prayer for peace in Liberia, and to respond generously to Liberia's urgent humanitarian and relief needs through Action by Churches Together (ACT) appeal AFLR31. The message follows a 13 June letter from WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan stressing the need for a "credible peacekeeping force" and a lasting ceasefire.

South Asian church leader to discuss regional peace and security

In a climate of mounting enthusiasm about the possibility of reopened peace talks between India and Pakistan, South Asian church leaders are planning to get together to determine how churches can help build peace and stability in the region.

World Council of Churches assessment of the 'Road Map'

While welcoming the Middle East Road Map to peace, some reservations were expressed by Peter Weiderud, Director of the WCC's Commission of Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), in an assessment distributed today to CCIA members and WCC networks. Weiderud highlights that the Road Map includes "a number of encouraging elements" but "it is far from ideal", and details some of the "vague and disturbing elements in it, as well as significant gaps that need clarification". Weiderud also welcomes the initiative from UN secretary general Kofi Annan to post a peacekeeping force in the area, but he stresses that UN should have "a more active and comprehensive role (…) in the entire process of conflict resolution and not just in peacekeeping".

Faith and Order: a more audible call to visible unity of the churches

The World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order is preparing itself "to make its call to visible unity more audible to the churches".