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Four pastors among 18 new ecumenical accompaniers

A new group of 18 ecumenical accompaniers last week joined four others staying on in Israel and Palestine from the previous group within the framework of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). The new arrivals bring the total number of ecumenical accompaniers now on the ground to 22.

Message of the Presidents of the WCC at Pentecost 2005

Grace and peace to you on this Feast of Pentecost 2005, in which we celebrate the many gifts of God's Spirit!

World mission conference to be broadcast live on the internet

On 10 May, when 500 delegates from all over the world meet in Athens for the opening session of the first world mission conference in the 21st century, many more participants world-wide will be able to join them online.

Kobia shares WCC viewpoint on UN reform report with Kofi Annan

A memorandum sent today by the World Council of Churches' (WCC) general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, to the United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, shares WCC points of view on issues dealt with in Annan's report on reforming the UN.

May 2005

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» World youth prepares for mission

Benedict XVI: Kobia prays for renewed commitment to ecumenical openess and a dialogue of conversion

In congratulating the newly-elected pope, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia prayed for "renewed commitment" to "ecumenical openess" and "a dialogue of conversion".

WCC staff member appointed minister in Lebanese transition government

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia today congratulated WCC staff member Dr Tarek Mitri on his appointment as minister of environment and administrative development in Lebanon's transitional government.

Churches worldwide to commemorate the Armenian genocide on 24 April

The member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) have been invited to make Sunday 24 April a day of memory of the Armenian genocide on its 90th anniversary.

Engaging trade institutions: Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane to speak at WTO symposium 20 April, 11:00-13:00 Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, Geneva

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, archbishop of Cape Town, is invited by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to speak at a high-level session at the opening of its public symposium on 20 April, 11:00-13:00 at the Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, Geneva, Switzerland.

Asian churches to deepen their commitment to overcoming violence in 2005

Asia has the potential to become economically prosperous in the near future, but it is also likely to see increasing disparities of health and wealth. These injustices are themselves a form of violence that may in turn lead to yet more expressions of violence in the region. This potential scenario makes the focus on the Asian region in 2005 by the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) all the more relevant.

WCC general secretary pays tribute to Pope John Paul II

The full text of the tribute paid by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia to Pope John Paul II, highlighting some of the specific achievements of his pontificate, is given below.

Pope John Paul II: outstanding figure in modern Christendom, one of the most courageous spiritual leaders of our time

Expressing the profound sadness of the World Council of Churches (WCC) following the announcement by the Holy See of the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II today, the WCC central committee moderator Catholicos Aram I said :

Kobia calls for risky, change-provoking ecumenism

The ecumenical movement must remain a ferment of change, recovering the spirit that led it to take risks, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia told a gathering of Asian church leaders.

WCC deeply concerned about the status of Jerusalem

Expressing alarm about new political developments which adversely affect the status of Jerusalem, the director of the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs issued an open letter today reiterating the position of its member churches and calling for "an open and inclusive Jerusalem, a city of shared sovereignty and citizenship, a city of two peoples and three faiths, of Christians, Muslims and Jews".

Churches lead efforts for trade justice during Global Week of Action

Churches and church-related organizations around the world are leading events during the Global Week of Action on Trade, 10-16 April 2005.

Bangladesh: Kobia and president Ahmed discuss concerns of the country's tiny Christian minority

Rights of minorities, increasing trends of religious intolerance, political violence, the need for strengthening of interfaith dialogue at grassroots level and Christian contributions to social development were discussed by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia and Prof. Dr Iajjudin Ahmed, President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, during his first visit to the country.

Kobia to pay first visit to WCC member churches in Bangladesh and Thailand

From 26 March to 2 April World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia will visit WCC member churches in Bangladesh and Thailand for the first time since taking office. On 1 April, he will also be the keynote speaker at the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) general assembly.

April 2005

The rights of the Papuan people will be the focus of WCC's involvement in the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). The WCC delegation includes representatives from Papua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Nepal and Colombia. A written submission has been presented to the commission, and a study on the economic, social and cultural rights of the Papuan people, commissioned by German churches with the WCC and undertaken by Papuan academics and human rights defenders, will be released on Thursday, 31 March.

Can refusal stop the occupation?

By Martin Smedjeback (*)