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Aiming for unity within diversity in Asia

When the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) kicked off in Manado, Indonesia on the 6 April, it was the first such gathering in 34 years. More than 350 youth from 23 countries across Asia came together to address pertinent issues in today’s globalized world.

Post-Arusha seminar convenes in Finland

A seminar following the WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism is being convened on 20 April in Helsinki, Finland. Participants and speakers include, among others, Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, professor of Ecumenical Missiology at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, as well as delegates to the Arusha conference representing Lutheran and Orthodox churches.

Church of the Lord in Nigeria called women to pastoral work from its founding

The primate of The Church of the Lord, Aladura, Worldwide, an African initiated church founded in 1925 talks with pride about how the founder had a calling from God to have women serving with men in pastoral work. Primate Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiolaolu Ositelu, metropolitan archbishop of the church visited Geneva and the WCC on 29-30 January.

Pontifical Council, WCC develop joint text on education for peace

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) of the Vatican and the Office of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the WCC met in Geneva from 16-18 April. Staff from the two offices united in prayer, fellowship and joint work on a document titled “Education for Peace in a Multi-Religious World”.

Film recognized for highlighting human rights in DRC

The feature-length documentary “Maman Colonelle,” directed by Dieudo Hamadi, has received the Human Rights Award 2017 from the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), and SIGNIS, a worldwide association of Catholic communicators.

Determined to make a difference

At 20, Ruth Mathen has already come a long way on the path that God has chosen for her. She heeded his call at a YMCA camp six years ago and is now running a non-government organization together with three college friends.

WCC reiterates calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria

In a 16 April statement, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged the international community to find a way to break the cycle of violence in Syria. The statement comes two days after the USA, France and the UK carried out missile strikes following a suspected Syrian government chemical weapons attack.

#WCC70: Chiara Lubich and the World Council of Churches

The relationship between the WCC and Chiara Lubich dates back to the time of the Second Vatican Council. On her death, Samuel Kobia paid tribute, saying: “Our love for Chiara and immense gratitude for the gift of God she has been to the ecumenical movement, will continue to motivate and inspire us in our work for the visible unity of the church”.

Lecture explores how theological education is concerned with the world

Rev. Prof. Dr Rudolf von Sinner, professor of Systematic Theology, Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue as well as moderator of World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Education and Formation Commission, offered a public lecture on 13 April at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva as part of the WCC’s ongoing observance of its 70th anniversary this year.

Asian Ecumenical Youth inspired and equipped to face challenges

After five intense days, the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) closed Wednesday evening with spectacular performances where participants from across Asia featured their respective cultures through music and dance.

WCC welcomes UN Environment executive director Erik Solheim

Two Norwegian world leaders met in Geneva to discuss environmental issues and open up for closer collaboration. Erik Solheim, UN Environment executive director and under-secretary-general of the United Nations visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 10 April, where he discussed with WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit both the meaning and importance of working together on environmental issues to bring hope to the world.

WCC staff plans year ahead

On 11-13 April, World Council of Churches (WCC) staff are gathering to develop a common work plan for the year ahead.

Tanzanian bishop known for tree-planting honoured to host mission conference

Environmentally-conscious presiding bishop Dr Fredrick Shoo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania says it was a special honour to host the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in his country that is often called the “cradle of humanity”. “It has been a moment of reflection for the church as one body of disciples of Christ and on how we witness about Christ in the global context,” said Shoo, known for his tree-planting activities, in an interview.

“Humanitarian Corridors” open for Syrians fleeing Lebanon

On 27 March, a hug between a 7-year-old girl, Majida, and her grandmother reflected the bright light of possibility that the ecumenical Humanitarian Corridors project continues to bring to refugees arriving in Italy. The child was waiting with other family members at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome as her grandmother arrived, safely and legally, in Italy from Lebanon.

A life over too soon: WCC mourns Daniela Di Mauro

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is mourning the death and remembering the life of Daniela Di Mauro. Her sudden death is a shock and tragic loss for her family, colleagues and friends.

WCC commemorates life of last surviving founder of Iona Community

Ian Fraser, last surviving founding member of the Iona Community and former World Council of Churches staff, has died at the age of 100.

Unifying faiths in peace and harmony through dialogue

In a plenary discussion titled ”Light and Truth in Pluralistic Asia” held at the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) in Manado, Indonesia last Monday, religious leaders from different faiths shared perspectives. They agreed that continuous interfaith dialogue is key to better mutual understanding, tolerance and respect.

Flowers of the church and agents of change gather in Indonesia

Under the theme ”Lord, send Your Light and Truth to lead us”, the Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) opened in Manado, Indonesia on Saturday. For six days, around 350 youth from all over Asia will reflect on the challenges facing them in today’s globalized society and how religion and ecumenism can play a vital role for peace and stability.

Sharon Watkins reflects on work ahead to end racism

Rev. Dr Sharon Watkins was the coordinator of “A.C.T. (Awaken, Confront, Transform) Now,” a series of events on 3-5 April that included an ecumenical gathering; rally in Washington, D.C.; and “National Day of Advocacy and Action.” The three-day event marked the beginning of a Truth and Racial Justice Initiative by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. As A.C.T. Now came to a close on 5 April, Dr Watkins spoke about the work ahead to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal.

The work ahead in combatting racism: relearning history, changing behaviors

Ending racism both in the USA and worldwide will require reexamining history - or even learning it for the first time - taking stock of the present, and changing our laws and ultimately our behavior, said Lisa Sharon Harper, founder and president of Freedom Road, a consulting group that helps communities strengthen their capacity to build a just world.

WCC congratulates new head of All Africa Conference of Churches

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended congratulations to the new general secretary-elect of the All Africa Conference of Churches, Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki.

US churches wrestle with complexities of race and religion

Defying gathering clouds, “Act Now to End Racism” rally attendees on Wednesday joined rousing choruses of Gospel standards and pledged to recommit to the cause of racial equality. Throughout this week’s three-day event in Washington, D.C., they grappled with a stubborn and pernicious reality amid a tense and uncertain political environment.

“Dear white Christians: what now?”

Hundreds of people gathered, then hundreds more, the crowd growing and marching in silence to the beat of a drum as dawn broke on 4 April, 50 years to the day since Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee.

WCC and ecumenical partners link #WithRefugees World Tour in UN campaign seeking a better life for refugees and migrants

To mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, sport demonstrations, cultural activities, and a #whitecard torch relay, with which the WCC and some of its partner organizations are linked, will be held in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan on 6 April.

Extremists who seek to victimize those of another faith are strongly condemned

Extremists who prey upon believers of other faiths in the name of their religion or belief are to be called out and condemned for their “abhorrent incitement” in the strongest terms, says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.