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“Humanitarian Corridors” open for Syrians fleeing Lebanon

On 27 March, a hug between a 7-year-old girl, Majida, and her grandmother reflected the bright light of possibility that the ecumenical Humanitarian Corridors project continues to bring to refugees arriving in Italy. The child was waiting with other family members at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome as her grandmother arrived, safely and legally, in Italy from Lebanon.

A life over too soon: WCC mourns Daniela Di Mauro

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is mourning the death and remembering the life of Daniela Di Mauro. Her sudden death is a shock and tragic loss for her family, colleagues and friends.

WCC commemorates life of last surviving founder of Iona Community

Ian Fraser, last surviving founding member of the Iona Community and former World Council of Churches staff, has died at the age of 100.

Unifying faiths in peace and harmony through dialogue

In a plenary discussion titled ”Light and Truth in Pluralistic Asia” held at the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) in Manado, Indonesia last Monday, religious leaders from different faiths shared perspectives. They agreed that continuous interfaith dialogue is key to better mutual understanding, tolerance and respect.

Flowers of the church and agents of change gather in Indonesia

Under the theme ”Lord, send Your Light and Truth to lead us”, the Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) opened in Manado, Indonesia on Saturday. For six days, around 350 youth from all over Asia will reflect on the challenges facing them in today’s globalized society and how religion and ecumenism can play a vital role for peace and stability.

Sharon Watkins reflects on work ahead to end racism

Rev. Dr Sharon Watkins was the coordinator of “A.C.T. (Awaken, Confront, Transform) Now,” a series of events on 3-5 April that included an ecumenical gathering; rally in Washington, D.C.; and “National Day of Advocacy and Action.” The three-day event marked the beginning of a Truth and Racial Justice Initiative by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. As A.C.T. Now came to a close on 5 April, Dr Watkins spoke about the work ahead to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal.

The work ahead in combatting racism: relearning history, changing behaviors

Ending racism both in the USA and worldwide will require reexamining history - or even learning it for the first time - taking stock of the present, and changing our laws and ultimately our behavior, said Lisa Sharon Harper, founder and president of Freedom Road, a consulting group that helps communities strengthen their capacity to build a just world.

WCC congratulates new head of All Africa Conference of Churches

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended congratulations to the new general secretary-elect of the All Africa Conference of Churches, Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki.

US churches wrestle with complexities of race and religion

Defying gathering clouds, “Act Now to End Racism” rally attendees on Wednesday joined rousing choruses of Gospel standards and pledged to recommit to the cause of racial equality. Throughout this week’s three-day event in Washington, D.C., they grappled with a stubborn and pernicious reality amid a tense and uncertain political environment.

“Dear white Christians: what now?”

Hundreds of people gathered, then hundreds more, the crowd growing and marching in silence to the beat of a drum as dawn broke on 4 April, 50 years to the day since Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee.

WCC and ecumenical partners link #WithRefugees World Tour in UN campaign seeking a better life for refugees and migrants

To mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, sport demonstrations, cultural activities, and a #whitecard torch relay, with which the WCC and some of its partner organizations are linked, will be held in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan on 6 April.

Extremists who seek to victimize those of another faith are strongly condemned

Extremists who prey upon believers of other faiths in the name of their religion or belief are to be called out and condemned for their “abhorrent incitement” in the strongest terms, says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

Ecumenical Christians act now to tackle US racism

An ecumenical gathering and an Orthodox Holy Week liturgy on Tuesday evening, 3 April, kicked off three days of US church engagement with the persistent realities of racism in American life.

South Sudan church leaders in Easter message stand committed to people in face of war and hunger

South Sudanese church leaders said in their Easter message that the Church stays committed to hope and refuses “to yield to fear or indifference” in their troubled homeland where the end of a bitter conflict seems elusive once again.

WCC moderator to greet DC marchers

Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches central committee, will address participants at this week’s “Act Now to End Racism” march and rally in Washington, D.C.

WCC decries violence on Israel-Palestinian border

After at least 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 injured by Israeli fire at the Gaza border on 30 March, Palestinians were observing a national day of mourning on 31 March.

During Holy Week, Kenyan clergy urge citizens to reach out in peace

“Reach out to one another in peace and humility. Stretch your hands to your neighbours, despite their circumstances. Go down on your knees and wash their feet,” Rev. Joseph Njakai, an Anglican priest in the Mount Kenya West diocese was urging on 28 March.

Creating a better future for Syrian-Armenian youth

On 20 March the unique program aiming to empower Syrian-Armenian youth who escaped the ongoing conflict in Syria and settled in Armenia was launched in Yerevan. Through training, capacity building and joint activities, the project aims to deepen the relations between Syrian and local Armenian youth.

Evangelical leaders from USA urge prayer for peace on Korean Peninsula

A wide-ranging group of evangelical leaders and pastors from the USA released a joint call on 27 March for Christians everywhere to pray for peace on the Korean peninsula.

Pan-African women demand end to gun violence in USA

In a “Holy Week Statement of Lament and Solidarity” for Maundy Thursday, the Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network demanded an end to gun violence in America. The statement, developed for use in prayer on Maundy Thursday as well as other Holy Week liturgy, decries the response to gun violence against children in the USA as “scarce and insufficient.”

Fribourg film festival recognizes movies with a focus on human dignity

The Ecumenical Jury of the 32nd International Film Festival Fribourg, held 16-24 March, awarded its prize to the the film “Foxtrot” by Israeli filmdirector Samuel Maoz. The film portrays the ongoing presence of violence and death in the Israeli and Palestinian society due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film won the Don Quijote Prize of the international film clubs (FICC) as well.

WCC reaffirms water as God’s gift and a human right

Members and partners of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) at the Alternative World Water Forum (Forum Alternativo Mundial da Agua or FAMA, in Portuguese) ratified the “Ecumenical declaration on water as a human right and a public good,” originally released 13 years ago.

Bible Societies reports increased access to scripture

In 2017, United Bible Societies - a global network working in more than 200 countries and territories across the world - reported it assisted in scripture translations in 49 languages spoken by more than 580 million people.

WCC mourns death - and commemorates life - of Rev. Dr Dong Sung Kim

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is mourning the death and remembering the life of Rev. Dr Dong Sung Kim, WCC programme executive for Diakonia and Ecumenical Solidarity, renowned pastor, peace negotiator and author of many texts on diakonia. Kim lived out a passion for peace and reconciliation both in the land of his origins and around the world as a faithful pilgrim for justice and peace.

In Nigeria, Thursdays in Black is flourishing

Rev. Ikechukwu Anaga remembers when people didn’t know about “Thursdays in Black,” the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. But his community of Aba, in Abia State, Nigeria, was seeing firsthand an increase in gender-based violence and rape. When Anaga helped others in his community make a firm decision to do something about it, the zeal and passion for Thursdays in Black rose.