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Seven Weeks for Water 2016 to focus on Holy Land

The WCC Ecumenical Water Network is inviting member churches and supporters to reflect on water during Lent. For many in the world, water is either taken for granted or in desperately short supply.

Methodist Church in Kenya consecrates second woman bishop

A WCC member church in Kenya has consecrated its second woman bishop, Rev. Alice Muthoni Mutuma, on 31 January in Meru. Rev. Pauline Wanjiru Njiru, East Africa regional coordinator for the WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy, attended the service and brought greetings from WCC.

A Palestinian pastor and an Israeli journalist – discerning the way ahead

Anticipating the award ceremony of the 2015 Olof Palme Prize on 29 January, the WCC secured interview time with laureates Rev. Dr Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, well-known for his contributions in the Haaretz Daily Newspaper, portraying the lives, the people and the victims in occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

Symposium focuses on religion, violence, extremism

To promote open discussions on the theological and practical discourse, narrative and experiences on implications for the work of the multi-religious organizations on religion, violence and extremism, the WCC, along with the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church and the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists held a Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs.

50 years after Theology of Hope, Jürgen Moltmann's vision continues to inspire

Five decades after publication of his ground-breaking Theology of Hope, German theologian Jürgen Moltmann continues to insist on the power of hope in the "coming of God" as a force for the transformation of the world.

Voices of faith speaking to voices of fear

While news headlines continue to document tragedies on land and sea as desperate people flee violence and abject poverty in their homelands, representatives of governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations, including churches and faith-based organizations, met 18-19 January at a high-level conference on the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Orthodox patriarchs prepare for Great and Holy Council in June in Crete

Orthodox primates have attended a meeting chaired by the Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, in Chambésy, Geneva, Switzerland, and set a June date for a larger Orthodox convocation, the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church.

Swiss congregation of the Malankara Mar Thoma Church observes Ecumenical Sunday

A small diaspora congregation of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church observed the Joint Ecumenical Sunday of the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) in Geneva on 24 January.

Muslim scholars release declaration on rights of religious minorities

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit commended the release of the Marrakesh Declaration on the Rights of Religious Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities.

Tarek Mitri: refugee crisis highlights failures of international community

“Once, the Mediterranean Sea was called ‘the lake of peace’,” said Dr Tarek Mitri of Lebanon at a recent conference promoting a coordinated response to massive migration in Europe. "Today, we find it is a lake of tears, fears and dangers.”

WCC welcomes monitoring of ceasefire in Colombia

“Recognizing Colombia’s ownership of the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement,” the UN Security Council decided on 25 January to establish a 12-month political mission of unarmed international observers, responsible for the monitoring and verification of the laying down of arms in the country.

Papal encyclical sparks reflections in International Review of Mission

Ecumenical cooperation among Christian traditions is “an indispensable path to evangelization,” according to the 2013 apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis titled Evangelii Gaudium, or “the joy of the gospel.” The latest issue of the journal International Review of Mission analyses the encyclical’s teaching in light of two other documents on mission agreed by the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism and the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

Tveit on the “Ten Commandments” of food

A 21 January World Economic Forum session on how food choices can become a catalyst for positive change became an opportunity for World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to present “Ten Commandments” of food to the gathered business and political leaders.

Current Dialogue explores the phenomenon of multiple religious belonging

The latest issue of Current Dialogue explores the phenomenon of “multiple religious belonging,” in which people participate or identify with the practices and beliefs of more than one religious tradition.

Coptic bishop from Middle East diaspora reflects on how churches can help refugees

“We are not speaking of people leaving one less-than-affluent suburb to go to a more affluent one because they seek a better quality of life; these are people leaving war-torn, poverty-stricken and conflict-filled near-anarchic states to find protection and safety for themselves and for their families.”

Latvian Christians pray for unity at ecumenical worship service

An ecumenical worship service on 21 January at St. James Cathedral in Riga, held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2016, was vivid confirmation of the ecumenical efforts of Christians in Latvia.

WCC urges support for social media campaign to end Syria crisis

The #SyriaCrisis has raged for five brutal years and another round of talks involving the world’s powerful nations and those involved in the conflict to push for peace could be starting to finally end the warring.

Orthodox patriarchs gather in Geneva to prepare Great and Holy Council

Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is to chair a meeting of Orthodox primates in Chambésy, Geneva, Switzerland from 21 to 28 January.

Latvia celebrates Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

In addition to ecumenical prayer and celebration – with the participation of Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Baptist, Adventist, Pentecostal, Methodist churches, and sometimes even representatives of the Old Believers’ community – Christian unity in Latvia usually takes the form of practical cooperation.

WCC/UN conference calls for coordinated action on refugee crisis

Following the WCC/UN High Level Conference on the Refugee Crisis in Europe, which took place at the Ecumenical Centre Geneva on 18-19 January, a statement has been issued entitled "Europe’s Response to the Refuge Crisis, From Origin to Transit, Reception and Refuge, A Call for Shared Responsibility and Coordinated Action”.

Thomas de Maizière: On the frontlines of refugee integration

While it was German chancellor Angela Merkel who boldly affirmed the willingness of Germany to receive hundreds of thousands of immigrants, it has fallen to the interior ministry, under the leadership of her longtime ally Dr Thomas de Maizière, that must realize that dream – and keep it from becoming a nightmare – through concrete arrangements for reception and integration of migrants into German society and its economy.

Conference underlines need for greater cooperation in refugee and migrant crisis

A High-Level Conference in Geneva of governments, United Nations agencies and civil society organizations, including churches and faith-based organizations, has underlined the need for urgent action to strengthen coordination and cooperation in Europe's response to the refugee and migrant crisis.

Mapping Migration: New publication from CCME and the World Council of Churches

The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe and the WCC have published a revised and updated edition of their joint study, Mapping Migration: Mapping Churches’ Responses in Europe. The 2016 text explores challenges and changes in the European church landscape in light of international migration.

German interior minister underlines churches' role in refugee response

Churches in Europe have a crucial role to play in responding to the arrival of refugees in Europe, Germany's interior minister has told a gathering in Geneva of governments, United Nations agencies, church and faith groups and civil society organizations.

The moral dimension of climate change – and of courage to address it

Implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change sharpened discussion of the 2015 papal encyclical Laudato Si’ at a UN conference initiated by the Holy See and several permanent missions to the UN on 15 January in Geneva. Among the presenters were the president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, the apostolic nuncio to the United Nations and the WCC general secretary.