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Churches advocate for religious minorities' rights in Turkey

An international ecumenical delegation visiting Turkey at the end of November has encouraged the country's authorities to improve the situation of religious minorities. The exercise of religious freedom, the legal status of churches, including property issues, and the right to religious education were on the agenda.

Samuel Kobia pays tribute to the legacy of Lesslie Newbigin

The Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia has honoured the memory of Lesslie Newbigin on the eve of what would have been the late bishop's 100th birthday. In the final Ecumenical Centre chapel sermon he will preach prior to the end of his term as WCC general secretary, Dr Kobia celebrated Newbigin as "an admirable ecumenist" with an "enthusiasm for crossing cultural boundaries". The author of such works as "Can the West be Saved?", "The Other Side of 1984" and "The Gospel in a Pluralist Society", Newbigin is widely read and admired in ecumenical and evangelical circles.

Orthodox and Catholic leader met

Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania , leader of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania and one of the eight presidents of the World Council of Churches, met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on 4 December 2009.

Latin American Christians defend the right to water

"Water should be for everybody, because it is the blood of Mother Earth." These were the words of Peruvian Congresswoman María Sumire during her speech at the conference on "Water for Life and Creation", held in Lima, Peru, 23-25 November.

No water for the neighbours

By Patrick Franks and Miranda Rosoux (*)

Global Network welcomes campaign on resident permits for migrants

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Global Ecumenical Network on Migration (GEM) has welcomed a year-long campaign by European churches aimed at granting long-term resident permits to foreigners after five years of legal stay.

WCC Ecumenical Library renamed Philip A. Potter Library

The library of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva was renamed the Philip A. Potter Library on Friday in honour of the third general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Cries of Anguish, Stories of Hope: study resources on violence against women

On the International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women, 25 November, the World Council of Churches (WCC) announced a series of Lenten study resources for congregations and individuals who want to do their bit to end violence against women.

Liturgical Advent resources available

"Telling Peace" is a collection of liturgical resources for the four Sundays of Advent. It is the second in a series of collections from different regions of the world, prepared in the framework of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation 2011 .

Israel settlement decision "deplorable", says WCC

Churches and other ecumenical partners of the World Council of Churches (WCC) have received an appeal to "mobilize their members and the public" in resistance to Israel's approval for the construction of 900 new housing units in the Gilo settlement on traditionally Palestinian land in East Jerusalem. The WCC general secretary, the Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, called on organizations related to the Council "to act with resolve, in concert," with the intention "to reverse this decision of the Israeli government and the settlement programme it represents."

WCC calls for investigation of Gaza war crimes

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has asked the United Nations secretary-general to make sure that recommendations of a key report about war crimes committed during the conflict between Israeli and Palestinian armed forces in Gaza at the beginning of 2009 are properly followed up.

WCC mourns the death of Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

"Profound sorrow" and "most sincere condolences" for the passing away of Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, the spiritual leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, were expressed by the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia. Patriarch Pavle died on Sunday, 15 November, at the age of 95.

Churches to ring the alarm on climate change

As nations are spelling out their bargaining positions for the negotiations on a new international climate deal to take place in Copenhagen next month, churches around the world are trying to ring home the message that climate protection is an ethical and spiritual issue.

WCC presses for US-North Korea talks

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has urged the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to hold bilateral talks within the context of resumed Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.

Resettlement due to climate change on Asia-Pacific church agenda

Resettlement of people displaced by the consequences of climate change was highlighted as a major concern for churches at a gathering of ecumenical representatives from Asia and the Pacific region.