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Middle East Council of Churches releases statement on fate of kidnapped bishops

The Middle East Council of Churches issued a statement related to the case and fate of two Archbishops, Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped on 22 April 2013.

In Africa, Christians join the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Christians in Africa have joined in ecumenical celebrations and prayer services to mark the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed worldwide from 18-25 January.

Investors, asset managers, developers, churches look to bridge gap between faith and investment

Bridging the gap between faith and investments with cooperation between different groups was the focus of recent a two-day conference in Geneva. It was a rare meeting of the likes of asset managers and clergy, and the solution at the heart of success was how to collaborate for success based on Christian principles.

WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network invites a pilgrimage of water justice in the Pacific region

The pre-launch of the Lenten campaign “Seven Weeks for Water” was held in Suva, Fiji, on 21 January, under the theme “A Pilgrimage of Water Justice in the Pacific Region.” In 2020, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace has a regional focus in the Pacific region.

WCC reiterates standpoints against antisemitism

The WCC stands firm in viewing “antisemitism as irreconcilable with the profession and practice of the Christian faith”.

Islands of hope: Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace focuses on Pacific region

“The Pacific Conference of Churches welcomes you on board our ecumenical canoe, as we sail and voyage together beyond the fringing reefs and rocks of the many issues that affect us here in the Pacific and globally, and set sail with our eyes firmly fixed on the island of hope,” said Rev. Dr James Bhagwan, Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary as he welcomed participants of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace to Fiji, on 20 January.

Bible app brings Week of Prayer to on-the-go people across the globe

Bring the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to your phone, computer or tablet - wherever you are - with the Bible-reading plan now available via the YouVersion Bible app. Users can explore the theme, “they showed us unusual kindness,” taken from Acts 28:2, in a digital format. The app, which has already been installed on more than 400 million devices by users in all countries of the world, allows users to read the Bible, share verses via social media, and bookmark favorite passages.

WCC Faith and Order Commission proposes world conference, maps common ground among churches

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission, through its three study groups, is proposing a world conference as it continues to map common ground among churches worldwide. The work of the commission is carried on through three study groups focusing on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, ecclesiology, and moral discernment. All three study groups recently met at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute.

WCC’s interreligious YATRA Programme to be expanded globally

The WCC’s interreligious training programme YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity) launched by the World Council of Churches after its 10th Assembly is to be launched in a new format. From its earlier focus on Youth in Asia, the programme is now renamed to "Young Adults Training for Religious Amity" and expanded to the global ecumenical movement, allowing young people from other regions to participate. This is largely due to the increasing demand for a training of this kind in other parts of the ecumenical fellowship. The expansion is also possible due to the collaboration with other ecumenical partners including the World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Methodist Council and the Council for World Mission.

WCC sends condolences upon death of Sultan Qaboos

In a letter to Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, shared his condolences upon the death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled Oman for half a century.

New South Sudan peace declaration brokered by Sant’Egidio comes into force

Amid persistent worldwide spiritual and moral appeals for peace, reconciliation, and support, the government of South Sudan and holdout opposition groups recommitted to cessation of hostilities in a peace declaration brokered by the Sant’ Egidio, a Rome-based lay Catholic movement.

WCC mourns the passing of Rev. Pablo Sosa

“It was with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of Rev. Pablo Sosa, one of the grandfathers of global ecumenical spirituality,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. The Argentinian Methodist pastor passed away on 11 January, in Buenos Aires, at the age of 85.

Festive worship marks century of Czechoslovak Hussite Church

During a festive worship at the St Nicolas Church in the Old Town Square in Prague, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church marked its 100-year anniversary.

WCC staff shares “great blessing of waters”

Fr Prof. Ioan Sauca walked through 42 different offices within the World Council of Churches on 13 January, sharing with appreciative staff the “great blessing of waters” according to Orthodox tradition.

WCC extends greetings of unity on 100th anniversary of Czechoslovak Hussite Church

As the Czechoslovak Hussite Church celebrates its 100 anniversary, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit attended a festive worship service, where he received a “memory medal” from Patriarch Tomás Butta commemorating the occasion.

Church groups ready as Zambia faces food shortages in chronic drought

Victoria Falls is known locally as Mosi-oa Tunya ("The Smoke that Thunders") due to the power of the water from the Zambezi River that often flows across one of the great wonders of the world. Today it is a mere trickle.

Young Africans are eager to grapple with challenges

Young African clergy, theologians and laypersons are eager to engage with the challenging issues facing their continent and the world. This became clear in a recent essay competition for authors below 35 years by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in partnership with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

World’s largest prayer gathering to celebrate gift of unity

During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to be celebrated 18-25 January, Christians across the world will pray and reflect on what it means to “show unusual kindness.” This year’s theme, “they showed us unusual kindness,” is taken from Acts 28:2, and draws on the story of Paul finding safety in Malta after a shipwreck. The resources for the week have been pre-pared by members of different churches in Malta.

WCC leaders reiterate need for United States and Iran to step back from escalating conflict

In the aftermath of armed attacks by both the US and Iran, WCC reiterates its call for restraint and de-escalation of the confrontation. “Further escalation and conflict between the United States and Iran can only serve short-term political interests, while threatening the permanent destruction of many lives, communities and precious cultural and environmental heritage,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “I appeal to political leaders on all sides of this confrontation to put the interests of the people of the region ahead of their own interests, and to seek peace through dialogue and negotiation rather than confrontation.”

Photos portray suffering caused by climate change - but offer hope as well

As we begin the year 2020, wildfires rage from the Arctic to Australia, icecaps melt, and fierce storms and floods lash our cities. This is already “the new normal.” Sean Hawkey, a photographer for ecumenical organisations including the World Council of Churches (WCC), selected photos from his archive as a reflection on a decade of work.