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At Human Rights Council, WCC advocates for human dignity

The World Council of Churches (WCC) made a positive impact at the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, held 24 June through 12 July. The WCC has a long history of engagement with the United Nations human rights system, in witnessing and advocating for human dignity and justice on behalf of the worldwide ecumenical movement.

WCC general secretary: “Children need a reconciled world”

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke as part of a panel at a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC). The event was held at the Ford Foundation on 15 July.

Church delegation shares priorities with Finnish presidency of EU Council

An ecumenical delegation composed of representatives from the Conference of European Churches and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union met in Helsinki on 12 July with Pekka Haavisto, Finnish minister of Foreign Affairs, to exchange on the priorities of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.

Asian Ecumenical Institute to train next generation of leaders

Twenty-seven young ecumenists from across Asia are currently attending the month-long Asian Ecumenical Institute organized by the Christian Conference of Asia. The programme aims to provide ecumenical formation and leadership development training for prospective church and ecumenical leaders. It is being held at the Christian Conference of Asia headquarters in Payap University Campus in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

WCC supports Zacchaeus campaign for tax justice

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is supporting a new ecumenical campaign advocating for tax justice, called the Zacchaeus Project (#ZacTAX), that was launched 11 July at the United Nations in New York City.

Peace forum: “there must be no more war on the Korean Peninsula”

An Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, held 10-12 July in Bangkok, has issued a communique that reiterates calls for peace and outlines possible steps toward renewed dialogue.

WCC general secretary reflects on renewed bonds with IJCIC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris. This meeting was held under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today.” Below, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflects on how restored relations between the two groups transpired.

Heads of Jerusalem Churches hold prayer rally in protest of Jaffa Gate properties case

On 11 July, the Heads of Jerusalem Churches held a prayer rally near Jaffa Gate’s Imperial and Petra hotels, in protest of Israel’s Supreme Court decision to overturn the appeal made by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate against the sale of three of its properties to a settlement group.

The story of an historic gift from Pope Francis “It’s a step forward towards unity”

Archbishop Job of Telmessos, who serves as permanent representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches (WCC), met with the WCC News and describes receiving an extraordinary gift from Pope Francis on 29 June.

WCC delegation reflects on World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion

The World Council of Churches (WCC) coordinated an ecumenical delegation that attended the World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion held 26-28 June at The Hague.

Theologians from around the world debate intercultural Christology

The Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz hosted an international conference on “The Many Faces of Jesus Christ: Contextual Christology in a New World Come of Age.” Meeting from July 4-6 on the university campus, the conference brought together 20 scholars from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America to listen to and debate new developments in Christology from around the world. Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal and Reformed theologians made presentations on Christology, as reflected in theological writings, poetry, art, music and murals, and lived experience.

Lebanon consultation seeks understanding of disability from a human rights perspective

Eighteen leaders from the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network met in Beirut, Lebanon on 3-5 July, to addresses concerns in the region and to evaluate the strategic plan.

WCC helps local French community say “no” to bottled water

Residents of Divonne, France approached the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network to help them stop a proposed plant for bottled water in Divonne, which is situated on the border with French-speaking Switzerland, between the foot of the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva.

WCC climate justice project wins Keeling Curve Prize

On 28 June, a World Council of Churches (WCC) intergenerational climate justice project was awarded the Keeling Curve Prize, a recognition for initiatives that offer solutions to reduce global warming. The WCC project supports adolescents engaging in climate justice through church-run schools, Sunday schools, and summer camps. The project stems from Churches’ Commitments to Children, a partnership between the WCC and UNICEF.

Anglican university students address violence, promote HIV testing in village schools

Students at Makerere University in Uganda have launched an evangelical and health mission in Kayunga, one of the rural villages in Mityana district located about 50 km from Kampala, Uganda. The initiative follows the October 2018 launch of the Thursdays in Black Campaign against sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda by the Anglican community of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University.

A humble servant in God’s herd

When he was asked last year to take over as vicar in the parish of Ilulissat, on Greenland’s west coast, Loqqi Fleischer was a bit anxious about how the transition from his smaller hometown Uummannaq, further north along the coastline, would work out. Nevertheless, he took on the challenge and was warmly welcomed right away in the new environment.

WCC “hoping and praying for fresh life” for peace on the Korean Peninsula

At the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, being held in Bangkok on 10-12 July, the World Council of Churches (WCC) reiterated its call for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

On 8th independence anniversary, South Sudanese church leaders amplify hope for peace

South Sudanese church leaders continued to amplify hope for their country, as the people quietly marked the 8th Independence Day, without an official government celebration. The world’s newest nation which became an independent state on 9 July 2011, is facing enormous challenges including insecurity, economic stagnation and famine due to a new conflict.

USA faith leaders call for diplomacy, not war, with Iran

Faith leaders across the USA released on 9 July a jointly signed statement entitled “Back from the Brink: Faith leaders call for diplomacy, not war, with Iran.”

Regional ecumenical leaders pledge to stand strong together

Leaders of eight regional ecumenical organizations concluded a meeting hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute on 2-4 July, with a pledge to stand together while mutually benefitting from their diversity.

Jewish-Christian relations focus of global conference in Sweden

The International Council of Christians and Jews held its annual conference in Lund, Sweden on 30 June through 3 July with the theme: “Transformations Within and Between: How Does Our New Relationship Affect Christians and Jewish Self-Understandings?” Approximately 160 participants representing many organizations, including the World Council of Churches, came from 23 nations. They began the conference in the Lutheran Cathedral of Lund with greetings from local religious and civic leaders.

WCC helps religious leaders relate better to adolescents

Religious leaders are learning to communicate better with adolescents about sexuality and other issues young people face, said participants at a training workshop using materials developed by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme.

WCC mourns passing of Bishop Mondal, advocate for theological education throughout South Asia

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is mourning the loss of Bishop Barnabas D. Mondal, know for his support of theological education in South Asia, and for being the first national bishop and the former moderator of the Church of Bangladesh. He passed away on 29 June in Dhaka.

WCC hosts historic Sikh-Christian Dialogue in face of “growing need for lasting peace”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) hosted a Sikh-Christian dialogue on 5 July with the theme “Pursuing Peace in a Pluralistic World” to commemorate the 550th birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first guru of the Sikhs.

Indonesian Presidential Special Envoy visits WCC to promote interreligious dialogue

In an encounter with Dr Syafiq A. Mughni, Special Envoy of the President of Indonesia for Interfaith and Intercivilizational Dialogue and Cooperation, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed his appreciation for the Special Envoy’s promotion of human rights, and stressed the WCC’s commitment to cooperation in confronting xenophobia and Islamophobia. “We have to see human rights as universal principles”, said Tveit. “It is our duty as human beings and also as Christians to fight for the rights of everybody”.