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WCC and international financial institutions to continue encounters next year

Cf. WCC Press Release PR-03-09 of 12 February 2003

WCC sends words of support and encouragement to people of Bolivia

In a letter dated 29 October, World Council of Churches general secretary Konrad Raiser sent a message of support and encouragement to the Christian churches and people of Bolivia. The letter comes in response to the recent political unrest that led to the overthrow and replacement of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada. Raiser urges the new government, specifically current President Carlos de Meza Gisbert, to listen to the voice of the people and underlines that “dialogue is imperative in order to reconstruct the country with the participation of the people.” He goes on to state his concern for the marginalized people of Bolivia, and to pray for the restoration of peace based on justice.

WCC urges Zimbabwean government to stop human rights violations

The World Council of Churches, "deeply concerned at the deteriorating law and order situation in Zimbabwe", has urged the country's government "to take immediate steps to restore the rule of law and put an end to arbitrary arrests, torture and killings". In a letter sent Monday, 27 October 2003, to Zimbabwean Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa, the director of the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs Peter Weiderud asked for "an immediate enquiry into the case of Mrs (Beatrice) Mtetwa and others who have been the subject of police brutality" in order to "ensure that justice is done to them".

Angola visit: the task of healing

Cf WCC Press Update Up-03-38 of 13 October 2003

WCC congratulates Pope John Paul II

"Wishing to share in the great joy of the Roman Catholic Church as it celebrates the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate," the World Council of Churches (WCC) today sent a letter to the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper. Signed by WCC deputy general secretary Mr Georges Lemopoulos, the letter highlights that the pope's ministry has been "rich because of the many initiatives (...) for Christian unity, dialogue between religions, and the defence of social justice and human rights".

WCC supports proposed convention protecting places of worship

The World Council of Churches has endorsed the draft Convention on the International Protection of Places of Worship proposed to the United Nations by the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). The proposal document-consisting of a preamble and six articles-aims to ensure the equal treatment of all religious communities in the protection of places of worship. In addition, the convention will form Commissions on Public Places of Worship in participating countries, consisting of government officials and representatives of the various religious communities, to monitor the implementation of convention provisions.

As a matter of fact: the disputed history of Ashkelon and Majdal

By Larry*, ecumenical accompanier with the WCC's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

WCC learning from Angola's "struggle for life"

Cf WCC Press Release PR-03-31 of 2 October 2003

"Honest and open" discussion on social and ethical issues at WCC seminar

cf. WCC Press Release PR-03-32 of 3 October 2003

WCC offers space for churches to approach social and ethical issues together

Christians from Orthodox and Protestant traditions will reflect together on how churches approach social and ethical issues during an 8-12 October World Council of Churches' (WCC) seminar in Morges, Switzerland. Â

WCC general secretary to visit churches in Angola

The last pastoral visit to churches in Africa by the outgoing general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, will be to Angola.

Cancún and beyond: What happened and the way forward for developing countries and civil society

The 5th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization held last 10-14 September in Cancún, México, ended in failure without any agreement or declaration. What actually happened in Cancún? What are the lessons to be learned from the collapse of the trade talks, and what is the way forward for developing countries as well as for civil society?

WCC and international financial institutions: Discussing reforms while looking forward to a fundamental shift

Without giving up the claim that "nothing less than a fundamental shift in political-economic paradigms is necessary", the World Council of Churches (WCC) reaffirmed its willingness to discuss possible reforms of the present economic structures and policies with the international financial institutions.

EAPPI begins second year in Palestine/Israel

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) has begun its second year of operations with 19 ecumenical accompaniers, the largest group of volunteers since the programme began one year ago. The accompaniers began their service during the recent escalation of violence in the conflict. Â

WCC churches and partners to meet on IFI policies

About 30 representatives of World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches and partner agencies will meet 11-12 September in Geneva to determine how to respond most effectively to the policies of the international finance institutions (IFIs).

Ecumenical community conveys "spiritual, moral and ethical" concerns to Cancun

Participants in a half-day public seminar in Geneva today sent a statement to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to ministers of trade attending the 10-14 September WTO conference in Cancun, Mexico. The seminar was jointly organized by the World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches and Conference of European Churches.

Public seminar focuses on Christian perspective on WTO ministerial conference

The World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and Conference of European Churches are jointly sponsoring a public seminar:

Scars of memory: an artist responds to the Rwandan genocide

A major exhibition by the Ghanaian painter and sculptor Kofi Setordji is on display in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, headquarters of the World Council of Churches.

WCC speaks on Africa

In a statement on Liberia, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting in Geneva 26 August-2 September 2003 expressed its appreciation for the work of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), its armed monitoring group ECOMOG, and the country's religious leaders in promoting a peace agreement and a transitional government.

WCC approves new system for calculating membership contributions

The World Council of Churches' (WCC) Central Committee yesterday approved a new system for calculating membership contributions.

Central Committee actions set future course for WCC

A memorable Central Committee meeting saw the election of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) first African general secretary, a commitment to explore new ways of configuring the whole ecumenical movement, and an in-depth examination of the place of disabled people in the life of the churches.

WCC hopes to "clarify not glorify" EU

In a statement on Europe, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has called for "the central role of Christianity and the contribution of other religions to European history and civilization" to be reflected in the preamble to the European constitution.