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Paving the way for ecumenical studies, learning English in Bossey

Each year students from all over the world arrive at Bossey near Geneva for a three-month language training course to pave their way for ecumenical studies that follow on straight after. “The title captures the goal of the course,” says Father Lawrence Iwuamadi, the Nigerian priest who studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is academic dean of the Ecumenical Institute.

Spiritual dimensions and interfaith cooperation key to sustainable development

Three weeks have now passed since this year’s edition of the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden was wrapped up and delegates from all over the world headed home, inspired to “float” the issues, as the WCC Ecumenical Water Network chairperson, Bishop Arnold Temple from Sierra Leone, put it.

WCC’s Phiri speaks on globalisation and justice

WCC deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri presented at the ReDI Conference, held 12-14 September at the headquarters of Diakonie Deutschland in Berlin.

Blessed school starts for kids in Finland

Nowadays, children in Finland are offered blessings by their parishes in the beginning of each semester. The blessings take place in the local church, usually in connection with evening mass, but sometimes also during regular school hours.

Cyprus holds “Minute of Silence” for peace

Christian and Muslim religious leaders, together with Anglican and Greek evangelical churches, marked the International Day of Peace on 21 September in Cyprus by observing a Minute of Silence at noon.

Rev. Traci Blackmon: people of faith must not be silent

Christians have a moral responsibility to speak out and teach people to say no to racism, xenophobia, exclusion and discrimination.

In Nigeria, “let us walk with our heads high”

As tens of thousands of people watched from offices, shops, and the sides of the road, the Thursdays in Black “street walk” made it way through Abuja, Nigeria, on the afternoon of 23 August.

Rev. Kenneth Mtata reflects on journey of transition in Zimbabwe

Catholic and World Council of Churches (WCC) leaders, meeting in Rome to discuss ways of combating racism and xenophobia, have pledged to uphold the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis dialogs with Christian leaders on combating racism

Pope Francis met on 20 September with leaders of different Christian churches who have been taking part in a Rome meeting on combating racism and xenophobia, saying he hoped their encounter would give rise to many other such shared initiatives.

#WCC70: Remembrances of an ecumenical workcamper

At WCC’s ecumenical workcamps in the late 1950s, a young Govaert Chr.Kok of the Netherlands would learn lessons for life – and encounter a very special person.

Message from the global conference against xenophobia: human beings are equal in dignity

Participants at the conference “Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration” released a message on 19 September that affirms and upholds the institution of asylum for those fleeing from war, persecution or natural disaster, and invokes respect for the rights for all people on the move. The conference, held in Rome, was organized jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Religious leaders from diverse traditions share candid thoughts on xenophobia

At a global conference on xenophobia in Rome, a panel of four religious leaders from, respectively, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic traditions, spoke candidly about how xenophobia can sometimes be woven deeply into the fabric of these traditions.

Catholic official: we must walk and pray together with vulnerable people

Representatives of many different Christian churches, meeting at a Rome conference from 18-20 September, are calling for deeper spiritual reflection and greater practical action to support migrants and refugees.

Ecumenical officers from Latin America and the Caribbean gather in Argentina

From 18-20 September, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is hosting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a regional meeting of some 30 people with responsibilities for ecumenical relations in several churches in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Faith groups: Human dignity should be main focus among climate change and foreign debt concerns

Climate change and foreign debt are intersecting human rights issues, and faith communities can contribute to better understanding and addressing these concerns, agreed many who attended a side event held on the occasion of the 39th Human Rights Council at Palais des Nations in Geneva on 18 September.

WCC receives 70th anniversary greetings

The WCC continues to receive messages of thanksgiving and encouragement from member churches, sister organizations and the wider ecumenical movement as the fellowship marks 70 years in working for Christian unity and action.

At global conference on xenophobia, refugees speak out on role of the church

Religious leaders and civil society representatives of different countries and diverse Christian churches gathered in Rome from 18-20 September to discuss the urgent task of combating the world’s increasing fear of so-called “strangers.”

Leadership of WCC Central Committee gathers in Geneva

The leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee met in Geneva on 16-17 September to prepare for the Executive Committee meeting and the joint day on Ecumenical Diakonia with ACT Alliance in Uppsala, Sweden, in November.

WCC invites all to join World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches is inviting its global fellowship and all people of good will to participate in the World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel on 16-23 September.

Consultation explores relationship between interreligious dialogue, liberation

An interreligious consultation on ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Liberation’ jointly organized by the World Council of Churches and the Council for World Mission, Singapore explored the promise and possibilities inherent in integrating liberationist concerns to interreligious dialogue

Public-private partnerships discussed in managing water services at WCC gathering

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has long been concerned about the impact of water privatisation, and this week for the first time the council brought multi-stakeholders together to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva to talk about it.

Bishop Younan receives ‘Bridges of Understanding’ award

Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land accepted a “Building Bridges of Understanding” award on 12 September at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The award is organized by the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Tveit greets Community of Protestant Churches in Europe

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit offered a greeting at the General Assembly of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, being held this week in Basel, Switzerland.

Despite adversities, Antioch Syrian University opens doors of hope

Representing hope in the face of adversity, the Antioch Syrian University opened its doors on 8 September in Ma’arat Sednaya, about 20 km from Damascus.

New students welcomed at WCC Bossey Ecumenical Institute

“Congratulations for being a student at Bossey!” Fr Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, director of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey and deputy general secretary, welcomed the students for the new academic year 2018-2019. Thirty-one students from diverse countries and traditions will start their classes at the ecumenical institute on Tuesday.