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WCC congratulates new head of Global Christian Forum

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended his congratulations to Dr Casely Essamuah, who has been selected as next secretary of the Global Christian Forum (GCF). Essamuah will take up the position on 1 July, following the retirement of Rev. Dr Larry Miller who has led the GCF for the last six years.

Ecumenical group demands for Germany to support nuclear prohibition

A group of German ecumenical activists including former WCC general secretary Konrad Raiser has criticised the German government for its failure to support the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. “It has become clear to many people in recent months that nuclear weapons do not offer lasting security and protection, but remain a continuing threat to humanity and creation,” the ecumenical activists said in an appeal published in Berlin on 20 February, referring to the stand-off between the United States and North Korea.

A voice of hope and justice in a sad context

In June last year, human rights advocate Raanan Mallek appeared as one of the ”12 Faces of Hope” in WCC’s #SeekJusticeAndPeace campaign to commemorate 50 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Last week he participated in the ”Meeting on the Implementation of the Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could lead to Atrocity Crimes”, which was held at the United Nations in Vienna with the WCC as co-host.

WCC to join “31 Days of Prayer for Women’s Empowerment”

Beginning 1 March, the World Council of Churches is encouraging its fellowship and partners to join the Lott Carey “31 Days of Prayer for Women’s Empowerment,” which is also the 6th Anniversary Global Women’s Prayer Guide.

Anticipation from Tanzania on the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism

Bishop Dr Fredrick O. Shoo is presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). He is also author of a “Welcome” in the Handbook for the upcoming World Council of Churches Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). Here, Bishop Shoo is featured in an interview that comments on crucial issues in the conference that will require deliberations to lead toward a truly transforming discipleship. The upcoming CWME will occur in Arusha, Tanzania on 8-13 March.

#WCC70: A chance to change

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. In order to create a lively firsthand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, member churches have contributed stories of people, events, achievements and even failures, all of which have deepened our collective search for Christian unity. This story was written by Dame Mary Tanner, a lay theologian from the Church of England who served as WCC vice president for Europe.

Call for day of prayer for South Sudan reinforces message of peace

On 23 February Pope Francis has called for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting for South Sudan and The Democratic Republic of Congo; two countries plagued by conflict, unrest and famine. The call is heeded by the World Council of Churches and all are encouraged to join in the prayer.

Film wins award for depicting need for human rights in Central Africa

The WACC-SIGNIS Human Rights Award 2016 has gone to the documentary film Cahier africain directed by Heidi Specogna, who was recognized at an awards ceremony on 19 February in Berlin.

Visiting WCC, Archbishop of Canterbury speaks on “ecumenism of action”

During a visit to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva on 16 February, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke on an “ecumenism of action” as he also congratulated the WCC on its 70th anniversary.

WCC encourages participation in day of prayer for South Sudan, DRC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will participate in a day of prayer and fasting for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 February. Pope Francis called for the day in response to the ongoing social-political tension and violence in the two nations.

Voices from Colombia: “What if we have no land to till?”

A delegation from the Oikotree movement travelled to Colombia from 2 to 5 February. Oikotree is a faith-based network initiated by the WCC, World Communion of Reformed Churches, and Council of World Mission that seeks to promote justice in the economy and ecology.

Youth in Asia can now apply for WCC inter-religious training

Applications are now open for YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity) 2018, an inter-religious training programme of the WCC. The intensive training course, held annually since 2014, seeks to enable young Christian leaders from Asian churches to contribute towards the building up of just, harmonious and peaceable communities by equipping them for ministries of justice and peace from an inter-religious perspective.

Tveit speaks on Partnership to End Violence Against Children

Speaking in Stockholm, Sweden, on 14-15 February, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit addressed the End Violence Solutions Summit, part of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. “On behalf of the WCC, I am very pleased to announce that we commit to supporting our 348 member churches in their efforts to prevent and respond to violence against children," said Tveit.

2018 Lenten campaign “Seven Weeks for Water” begins in Colombia

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network began the 2018 edition of its annual Lenten campaign “Seven Weeks for Water” in Bogota, Colombia, on 14 February. WCC leaders, members of WCC Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and local churches participated in a ceremony at La Giralda, headquarters of the Colombian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Show up in fight against racism, is white American pastor’s plea

Charlottesville in Virginia hit world headlines in 2017 during clashes between white supremacists and neo-Nazis who attacked protestors, including clergy, calling for the removal of a controversial statue.

Turning plans into action to prevent incitement to violence

Another step towards preventing incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes was taken on Tuesday this week, when religious leaders and other actors gathered for a three-day meeting in Vienna to discuss the implementation of the Plan of Action for such prevention.

As South Sudan talks unfold, church leaders prioritise peace

As the second round of South Sudan peace talks unfold in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, church leaders are urging the parties to prioritise peace to end the misery for millions trapped or ejected by the prolonged war. The talks, titled “High Level Revitalisation Forum,” which opened on 5 February are occurring at a time when international calls to end the conflict have amplified. The current civil war started in December 2013, as a dispute between the political elite in Africa’s newest nation.

WCC pilgrims visit the wounds of Colombia

Expressing solidarity with the people of Colombia and searching for clearer understanding of the country’s complex humanitarian situation, some participants of the annual meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJPRG) visited the regions of Valledupar, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Chocó, Cali and Cauca on 3-5 February.

Seven weeks of Lent highlight water justice in Latin America

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) invites you to use the season of Lent to reflect on water. Since 2008, EWN has been providing weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March. This year, the focus is on Latin America.

#WCC70: Churches as “freedom agents”

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. In order to create a lively firsthand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, member churches have contributed stories of people, events, achievements and even failures, all of which have deepened our collective search for Christian unity. This story was written by Olle Eriksson, a Namibian who worked for 35 years (1968 – 2003) with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission and Lutheran World Federation.

Three voices of hope from Zimbabwe

In November last year the 37-year rule of President Robert Mugabe came to an end. Two months later, the mood among Zimbabweans can be described as cautiously optimistic and there is a sense of hope for a better future. General elections are scheduled in July, which will determine the political direction of this once prosperous country.

Ecumenical accompaniers share observations with EU

As an “ecumenical accompanier,” Prokop’s role description might include: “walks children to school,” and “shares what he sees.” In many communities, these tasks are daily - even mundane - parts of life. But for Prokop, who has served with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI), walking children to school was anything but humdrum.

WCC calls for peace in Colombia

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, deputy general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), expressed concern and voiced solidarity for the people of Colombia as they confront a recent upsurge of violence.

Area Development Plan for Green Village now in effect

On 26 January, Geneva authorities confirmed that the Area Development Plan (ADP) for the project Green Village is now in effect. The Green Village real estate project, designed by LRS Architectes SA, sets six new buildings in a park, around a restored and renovated Ecumenical Centre building.

At mission conference, “let us tune ourselves to the rhythm of the Holy Spirit”

Metropolitan Dr Geevarghese Mor Coorilos is moderator of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. He is also author of a “Welcome” in the Handbook for the upcoming WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. Below, Metropolitan Coorilos is featured in an interview that reflects on how we can prepare our ecumenical heart for the upcoming conference, which will occur in Arusha, Tanzania on 8-13 March.