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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 has received 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.

Peace-building and migration on agenda of WCC-Catholic Joint Working Group

At a time of increased divisions within churches and within rapidly changing societies, Christians are called, more urgently than ever before, to model the values of reconciliation, justice and peace. That’s why a group of theologians and church leaders from different denominations have been meeting near the German city of Augsburg to work together on two documents calling for much closer collaboration in the tasks of peace-building and the care of migrants and refugees.

WCC honours refugee work of Loïs Meyhoffer

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, 13 September, for Loïs Meyhoffer, longtime staff member of the World Council of Churches, who died this week at nearly 100 years. A Geneva native, Meyhoffer joined the fledgling organization’s refugee assistance efforts in 1949 and moved to Germany to oversee its efforts there, returning to Geneva in 1955 and working on staff until her retirement.

Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum receives honorary doctorate from Reformed University of Debrecen

Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum received an honorary doctorate on 8 September from the Debrecen Reformed Theological University (DRTU) in Hungary. Keum, a pastor with the Presbyterian Church in Korea, is a former World Council of Churches executive and long-time friend of the Reformed Church in Hungary.

From Emmaus to Amsterdam: new Bible study reflects on the transforming power of walking together

“Never before had I realized the power of simply walking together on a path of peace, how it connects people in a very deep and meaningful way”, writes Rev. Prof. Dr Fernando Enns in the newest Bible study on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace published by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Online poll seeks students’ thoughts on how to be safe in school

A new report, “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools,” shows that half of the world’s teenagers experience peer violence in and around school. Violence in schools – from bullying to beatings to targeted attacks – is common enough to feel inevitable. But it’s not. It’s preventable.

WCC mourns passing of the Rev. Dr Toshihiro Tatami

Rev. Dr Toshihiro Takami, honorary president of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Japan passed away at the Maronie Nursing Care Facility on 6 September. He was 91 years old.

Asian church leaders search for grassroots perspective on Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

General secretaries and other high-ranking national church leaders from nine Asian countries gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 4-7 September to pave the way for a coherent and well-coordinated Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) Asia Focus-2019.

Film “Tel Aviv on Fire” wins Interfilm award

At the 75th International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, the film “Tel Aviv on Fire” won an Interfilm award for promoting interreligious dialogue. The film, directed by Sameh Zoabi, is a comedy in which a Palestinian writer draws upon the skills and experiences of an Israeli checkpoint commander to enhance a TV series, “Tel Aviv on Fire.”

WCC offers tribute to Marie Bassili Assaad

Marie Bassili Assaad, an ecumenical leader who was WCC deputy general secretary from 1980 to 1986, passed away on 30 August, at the age of 96. Her funeral took place in Egypt on 2 September.

Cinema as a space for encounter and expression for children and youth in Argentina

One of the most active groups of "La Casona", a care center in the southern part of Buenos Aires, is the “Centro de Producción Audiovisual”, which is formed by eight young people of ages 16-22 who found in the cinema and audiovisual production a tool to express their feelings about the challenging reality around them. Last August, they received a visit by a group led by Frederique Seidel, World Council of Churches (WCC) special adviser on Child Rights.