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"Differences of religion do not separate us, but rather enrich us in many areas of life."

From 14-16 December in the UK, the CEC and Cumberland Lodge held a conference titled "Towards Peaceful co-existence in the Middle East: challenges and opportunities." Co-hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the gathering drew participants from a broad range of Middle Eastern and European churches.

WCC general secretary visits churches in Czech Republic

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit is visiting Czech Republic this week, joining the Evangelical Church of the Brethren in the celebration of its 100th anniversary, then meeting with leaders from the Czechoslovak Hussite Church.

Thursdays in Black meets Saint Lucy in Sweden

A group of Swedish Saint Lucy’s Day performers swapped the traditionally red ribbons for black ones this year, in support for the Thursdays in Black campaign.

Faith communities to COP24: “Climate justice is at the heart of just transitions”

“At COP24, there is a great responsibility for all politicians to get the necessary agreements to save the planet. This is a political and moral task that goes far beyond any national border”, said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in a tweet posted on 14 December, the eve of the closure of the United Nations climate conference underway in Katowice, Poland.

Conciliar Unity: Whither Vision and Direction?

In a recent interview for Christian Conference of Asia News, four ecumenists from regional and international conciliar fellowships from Asia, North America and the WCC, responded to questions about the role and challenges of ecumenical councils and the importance of conciliar unity in a changing ecumenical and ecclesial context.

New issue: International Review of Mission

The latest issue of the International Review of Mission, the biannual journal of the WCC contains a selection of articles which were on the one hand given as key lectures at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Arusha from 8-13 March 2018 and on the other hand articles from Missiologists from all over the world, including Catholic, Pentecostal, Protestant and Orthodox voices, asking about “Mission quo vadis after Arusha?”.

Young people in Nigeria focus on positive masculinity, femininity

The WCC-EHAIA programme organized a workshop on 27-29 November during which young people in Nigeria could highlight positive masculinity and femininity.

"What matters is winning the peace in Syria," UN envoy says

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit hosted a lunch on 12 December in gratitude to the services rendered by the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura at the Château de Bossey with ambassador Heidi Grau, Head of the human security division at the Swiss FDFA, and the UN and WCC teams on Syria.

Global conference to focus on Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East

On 14-16 December, the Conference of European Churches and Cumberland Lodge in the UK will host an Ecumenical Conference on Human Rights with the theme “Towards Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities.”

“Church is a branch house of heaven”

His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Supreme Head of the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church, and Catholicos of the East, led the Holy Moron consecration ceremony of the new building of St Mary’s Orthodox Church in Muscat on 7 December.

COP24: “Time for reflection and deliberation is long gone”, says Ecumenical Patriarch

“We wonder when the leaders of our world will realize how late we have left our response to the climate crisis”, wrote His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a letter to the participants of the United Nations climate conference underway in Katowice, Poland.

All pilgrim routes lead to COP24

Pilgrims coming from Germany, Italy and Norway ended their journeys for climate justice on 7 December upon arrival at the St Stephen’s Church in Katowice, Poland, where the United Nations (UN) climate conference is underway. They were warmly welcomed by the delegations of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) that are attending the 24th Conference of Parties of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

‘Respect for the other’ lies at the heart of peace education, say panelists at UN debate

Respect for the other lies at the heart of peace education and was a key thread through a debate entitled “Education for Peace in a multi-religious world”. It was held on the 2018 World Human Rights Day at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

WCC president at COP24: “God wants us to be stewards for the whole ecological weave, for our shared home, for the oikoumene”

“God wants the world. God wants us to steward it”, said the Swedish Archbishop Anders Wejryd, president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Europe, on 9 December, in his sermon at the Ecumenical Service as part of the United Nations climate conference, in Katowice, Poland.

WCC reaffirms UN declaration on human rights

This year marks the anniversary not only of the WCC but also of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Oslo prays for peace, in week of Peace Prize ceremony

Hundreds gathered in the Trinity Church in Oslo, Norway on 9 December for an ecumenical prayer for peace, in connection with the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

Head of WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network disappointed at global water event

The World Water Council (WWC) held its 8th General Assembly 29 November – 1 December, in Marseille, France. In an interview for WCC Communication, Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) expressed discontent over the lack of opportunities for participation of the civil society in the structure and work of the WWC.

Dialogue addresses improving HIV testing and treatment for children

A “High-Level Dialogue to Assess Progress on and Intensify Commitment To Scaling Up Diagnosis and Treatment of Paediatric HIV” was convened 6-7 December at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City.

Christian communicators work to counter hate speech against refugees

The World Association for Christian Communication – Europe Region (WACC Europe) is embarking on a one-year project to identify and promote strategies to counter online hate speech focused on refugees and migrants.

Momentum grows for health-promoting churches

“I see this approach of ‘a healthy church’ as a setting that will hopefully go global,” says Dr Suzanne Jackson of the University of Toronto, who directs the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion.

WCC-EDAN observes International Day of Persons with Disabilities

On 3 December, the world marked the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) under the theme “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The theme focused on empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Christmas: A time for inclusive celebration

“Let us promote inclusion from the family to society level.” This was the clarion call made by Rachna Singh, National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) executive committee member and Sanjay Singh, director of the Church of North India stewardship ambassadors’ ministry during the Christmas celebrations of people with disabilities on 1 December at the NCCI Campus in Nagpur.

Learning exchange focuses on human rights among indigenous people

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation and World Council of Churches held a learning exchange activity in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 28 November. The activity was attended by indigenous peoples’ organizations and support networks from the Philippines, Zambia, Peru, and Colombia.

EKD launches resource for churches to engage on sustainable development

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has recently made available a discussion paper affirming the significance of Agenda 2030 and placing specific demands upon those in positions of responsibility within politics, civil society and churches.

Rev. Dr Rebecca Peters receives scholar-activist award

Rev. Dr Rebecca “Toddie” Peters received Auburn Seminary’s 2018 Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award at the American Academy of Religion on 19 November in Denver, Colorado (USA). Peters first because involved in gender justice when she responded to an internship advertised on a flyer from the Presbyterian Church headquarters.