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WCC pilgrimage turns its eyes to Asia

“Our churches are directly involved in upholding the dignity and rights of people and communities in Asia irrespective of their religious or faith identities”, said Matthews George Chunakara, general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, at the opening of the annual meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Reference Group, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 4 March.

Turning mercy and compassion into action

Ten years ago, while studying to become a nurse, Khadijah Abdullah was confronted at a hospital with a rather difficult patient, a Muslim living with AIDS who was also coping with several other medical issues. When Abdullah realized how isolated and stigmatized this patient was in his own faith community, she became aware of her prejudices and ignorance and she decided to do something about it.

Archbishop Job of Telmessos: “We are first all citizens of the world”

Archbishop Job of Telmessos, who serves as permanent representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches (WCC), was recently appointed as rector of the Institute of Post-Graduate Studies in Orthodox Theology in Chambésy. Archbishop Job reflected on his new role, its context in international Geneva, and the challenges to justice and peace most on his mind today.

Churches in Burundi welcome disability mainstreaming in development

The Anglican Church of Burundi and Friends Church in Burundi in partnership with World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission have embarked on a three-year journey of mainstreaming disability in their development programmes. This journey, aiming to improve the livelihoods of persons with disabilities in Burundi, began with the launch of a project entitled “Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Church Development Programmes in Burundi” held on 27 February in Bujumbura.

Prayer service dedicates Pan African devotional guide

A prayer service held on 28 February at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Washington, DC dedicated a Pan African devotional guide, “Lament and Hope.” The biblical guide, created by Bread for the World, marks 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia.

Churches work to heal the wounds of Brazil’s deadliest environmental disaster

One month after a dam near an iron ore mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, burst its barrier, flooding another dam down below, churches have been actively working in the area, comforting hundreds of families in grief and joining hands with the public agents who are offering humanitarian relief to the people in the region.

Reflection day held on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2021

The World Council of Churches (WCC) programme on Ecumenical Theological Education invited WCC staff and representatives of member churches in Germany, such as Rev. Sabine Udodesku of the Evangelical Church in Germany, who attended the meeting on behalf of Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, and ecumenical partners to launch the reflection process on the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute at the 11th Assembly of the WCC in Karlsruhe in September 2021.

WCC offers opening greeting for diplomacy conference in Greece

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent a greeting to a conference about religious and ecclesiastical diplomacy held in Greece on 28 February - 3 March. WCC deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Fr Ioan Sauca represented the WCC at the conference.

Racism, climate change and economic justice in the spotlight of WCC international affairs meeting in Indonesia

The 56th meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs took place in Bali, Indonesia, on 24 – 28 February, discussing many of the most critical concerns of churches in the region and around the world.

WCC contributes to contextual theologies course in Morocco

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Theological Education programme has, for the second time, contributed to ecumenical capacity development in Morocco. The WCC helped instruct a course on contextual theologies and African theologies at the Ecumenical Theological Institute Al Mowafaqa in Rabat.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs explores injustices in Asia region

With the sounds of the kulkul wooden bell at the Galang Ning Hyang Protestant Church in the Badung region of Bali, Indonesia, the 56th meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs opened on 24 February, setting its yearly regional focus on Asia.

WCC general secretary speaks on the future of work

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke on the future of work at an event held on 25 February in Geneva commemorating the centenary of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Papua human rights situation, religious freedom, focuses of WCC delegation visit to Indonesia

An ecumenical delegation coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) visited Indonesia on 15-22 February, including the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat - where increasing violence and discrimination against indigenous Papuan people was recently highlighted in a joint statement by five UN human rights mandate-holders.

Agreement works toward food security in South Sudan

The South Sudan Council of Churches, United Nations World Food Programme, and UNICEF have signed an agreement to work in partnership towards peace building to realize food security.

Michel Sidibé: Role of faith-based organizations critical for fighting HIV

In remarks during a workshop on HIV among migrants and refugees, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé spoke of the challenge of HIV in what has become a rapidly changing and very unpredictable world.

On the journey to HIV – bridging gaps, debunking myths

Ours is a world of migration. Yet myths and mystification persist in our understanding of the journey – particularly when it comes to transmittable diseases such as HIV.

Thursdays in Black: sharing support, transforming lives

Social media was awash with messages of love on Valentine’s Day, but from Thursdays in Black supporters, the flowers came with strong messages that love is not violent.

“Join forces, work together” – WCC convenes workshop on HIV among migrants, refugees

On 20-21 February, UNAIDS, the WCC and the International Catholic Migration Commission are hosting a workshop on HIV among migrants and refugees. The aim of the workshop is to identify a roadmap for strengthening faith-based organizations’ engagement in collaboration with other sectors.

Ecumenical Jury awards Berlin film prize for portrayal of struggle with religious tradition

A film depicting a woman – Petrunya – who breaks church and social traditions by grabbing a cross thrown by an Orthodox priest into an icy river in an Epiphany ritual meant for young men has been awarded the prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 69th Berlinale film festival in the German capital.

WCC mourns death of Rev. C.M. Kao

Rev. Dr C.M. Kao, Asian church leader and human rights advocate, has passed away. In the 1970s, he served as general secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, which has been a WCC member church since 1951.

Cyprus religious leaders issue statement on historic Church of St James

On 14 February, the religious leaders of Cyprus issued a joint statement on the historic Church of St James in the Buffer Zone. Torrential rains over the past weeks caused the collapse of the bell tower and part of the wall of the 10th century church.

Monastery as a meeting between human and divine

Established more than 600 years ago, the Sretensky monastery in the centre of Moscow was a place of imprisonment and execution of those persecuted for their political or religious beliefs during repressive Soviet times.

Conference explores migration through lenses of faith, experience, law

Columbia Theological Seminary and Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion in partnership with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and other national and global organizations brought together 180 participants for a conference on “Migration and Border Crossings”.

Inter-church network positions itself with fresh agenda and clear priorities

On 14 February, the Global Christian Forum Committee concluded a fruitful five-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where priorities were carved out and future directions of the network outlined.

WCC expresses growing concern on Venezuelan people’s future

The World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed its “growing concern” for the lives and welfare of all people affected by failure to resolve the political situation in Venezuela, in a statement jointly signed by Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, and Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, on 14 February.