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Leadership training opportunity for young people

An internship programme launched by the World Council of Churches offers a unique leadership training opportunity for young people from different churches and different parts of the world. Six young people aged 18-30 and committed to the ideals of the ecumenical movement will serve as interns in WCC Geneva offices for a period of 12 months, from September 2003 to September 2004. Closing date for receiving applications for the internships is 10 June 2003. Ability to communicate in English is required. More information at

A seminar on the church in China

will be held at the Ecumenical Centre (150 Route de Ferney, Geneva)

Latin American Churches to target international financial institutions

Leaders of Latin American and Caribbean churches are preparing to tell the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank what they think of their policies.

World Council of Churches regrets miscarriage of justice in trial of Cuban dissidents

In a letter addressed to the Cuban President, Fidel Castro, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Konrad Raiser, expresses regret at the miscarriage of justice in the recent trial in which Cuban political dissidents were found guilty and received heavy sentences. He further urges that their sentences be reviewed and that they be released.

WCC requests clemency for a US minor sentenced to life in prison

The WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, appealed to the governor of Florida (USA), Jeb Bush, to exercise clemency in the case of Lionel Tate, who on March 9th, 2001, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a crime committed when he was 12 years old. Raiser endorsed a similar request from Anglican bishops of the Episcopal Church in Florida, and pointed out that the punishment "is not only harsh but also fails to take into consideration his tender age".

Konrad Raiser criticizes moral and religious arguments to legitimize war against Iraq

The question of the legitimacy of the US-led coalition forces' decision to use military force to disarm Iraq, including the attempt to use moral and religious arguments to justify that decision, is addressed by Konrad Raiser, World Council of Churches' general secretary, in an opinion piece published on Tuesday, 8 April by the International Herald Tribune.

WCC Cyprus visit: "Reconciliation needs to begin now"

Cf. Press Update, UP-03-12 of 27 March 2003

Impunity in Latin America

In the context of the current, 59th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Pax Romana-ICMICA, and the International Service for Human Rights are organizing a

Information, resources and analysis on churches and Iraq

The latest edition of the electronic bulletin "Behind the News: Visions for peace - Voices of faith", which focuses on the war in Iraq and provides information about statements and actions of churches and the ecumenical family, humanitarian relief, and additional resources and information, is available at:

WCC to denounce increasing violence against Dalits in India

Cf Press Release PR-03-13, 19 March 2003

WCC general secretary challenges Bush's religious claims

Free photos are available - see below

WCC statement on Iraq: "Wars cannot be won, only peace can"

Reacting with "profound sorrow" to news that a military attack on Iraq has begun, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser has today released a statement calling the attack "immoral, illegal and ill-advised".

Ecumenical prayer service for peace to be held today

As the military attack on Iraq has begun,

Ecumenical Prayer Service for Peace: message and worship order

The message delivered by Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, World Council of Churches general secretary, during an ecumenical prayer service for peace that was held today, Thursday 20 March, at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva, as well as the worship order used on this occasion, are available at:

UN Human Rights Commission: WCC to highlight increasing religious intolerance

Increasing religious intolerance in India, Indonesia and Pakistan is being highlighted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the current (59th) session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) that began on 17 March and continues through 24 April. The denial of socio-economic and cultural rights to the people of West Papua, as well as human rights violations committed under the Israeli military occupation of Palestine will also be addressed by the WCC.