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“We have the mission to care for God’s creation”, says Brazilian church leader at COP25

“God is never indifferent to climate change that weakens the already weakened, impoverished and scattered populations throughout our world,” said Rev. Dr Nestor Friedrich, from Brazil, as he delivered the sermon during an ecumenical prayer service held on 8 December, in the Spanish Evangelical Church, in Madrid, during the United Nations climate change summit COP25.

WCC delegation meets with South African President Ramaphosa

On 9 December, a delegation led by World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met with the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and cabinet ministers in Johannesburg, South Africa.

WCC contributes to capacity building in diakonia and development in Asia

More than 40 church leaders and diakonia specialists from 15 Asian countries participated in training in ecumenical diakonia and development organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 4-7 December.

WCC mourns passing of Prof. Vuyani Vellem

With great sadness, the World Council of Churches (WCC) received news of the demise of Prof. Vuyani Vellem on 4 December. A member of the WCC’s Commission on Ecumenical Education and Formation, Vellem was director of the Centre for Public Theology and associate professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He also served as deputy secretary of the South Africa Council of Churches.

WCC delegation to meet President Ramaphosa to discuss gender-based violence and violence on foreign nationals in South Africa

Members of the media are invited to attend a press briefing on Monday, 9 December 2019, by a high-level delegation of the World Council of Churches, which will be in the country on a social-justice mission to South Africa from 7-12 December 2019.

“See humans as part of creation” in addressing climate emergency

As he shared the perspective of an indigenous person at a side event during the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid, Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell, urged people to adopt a deep respect for Mother Earth.

WCC joins gathering of Blue Communities in Brussels

The World Council of Churches (WCC) was represented at a gathering of more than 40 organizations from across Europe involved in the Blue Community initiative. Blue Communities, a concept founded by the Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project, recognize water and sanitation as human rights, promote public control over water resources and ban or phase out the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at events.

Retired Norway bishop risks jail over principles

An 84-year-old former bishop of Oslo, Gunnar Stålsett, was ordered to appear in court because he illegally employed a woman from Eritrea who’d been denied asylum and wound up as an undocumented and rejected refugee.

WCC Ecumenical Institute invites papers for conference on ’Teaching Ecumenism’

With deadline 20 January 2020, the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey invites papers for an international conference on ’Teaching Ecumenism in the Context of World Christianity’.

Webinar on racism in the Pacific: “It has become embedded”

A World Council of Churches (WCC) webinar held on 2 December explored the theme “Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination in the Pacific". Participants asks challenging questions such as: What is institutional racism? What is unconscious racism?

WCC Assembly Planning Committee meets in Karlsruhe with focus on youth, spiritual life

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee is meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany from 2-9 December, marking the committee’s third preparatory meeting and its first meeting with the local host committee in Germany. The planning this week has a special focus on youth participation and spiritual life in the 11th WCC Assembly, to be held in September 2021.

WCC reiterates firm commitment to protecting and nurturing children

During a consortium focusing on nurturing values and spirituality in early childhood, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reiterated the WCC’s firm commitment to protecting children. His message was read by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary.

Jürgen Moltmann, theologian who survived life under Nazi regime, entrances students with his account

Students sat entranced as the theologian recounted that after serving in the Hitler Youth and the German Army as a “patriot” in World War II, he turned his back on nationalism and the horrors of that conflict.

Interfaith dialogue prior to COP25 calls for unity, action to confront climate crisis

Representatives from multiple faith and religious backgrounds came together in Madrid, Spain on 1 December to find common ground in preparation for the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) 25 in Madrid, Spain.

A holistic approach to climate change

It has been a long hot summer in Greenland. Not only in terms of record high temperatures but also politically in terms of outrage over US president Donald Trump’s surprise attempt to “buy” the island. That also caused a diplomatic row with NATO-ally Denmark, which Greenland has been part of since 1721.

Hundreds gather at Namirembe Cathedral in Uganda to commemorate World AIDS Day

Hundreds of Christians gathered at the Namirembe Cathedral - the oldest cathedral in Uganda - and Mackay Primary School on 1 December to commemorate World AIDS Day. Through music, dance, and drama, together they spoke out for gender justice and a world free from HIV.

Ecumenical Women's Assembly says repenting from greed opens path to justice

The Ecumenical Women's Assembly recently ended a weeklong meeting in Taiwan with calls to repent from greed and for Asian women to become advocates and catalysts of reconciliation, renewal, and restoration in the world, communities, and in churches.

Patriarch Bartholomew at Amsterdam International Water Week: "clean water is nothing less than a moral crisis”

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, speaking during the closing session of the Amsterdam International Water Week on 5 November, said that “clean water is nothing less than a moral crisis and a moral challenge.”

Moltmann reflects on spirit of truth in a post-truth era

“Nationalist power politics is no longer interested in truth. They wage war under the guise of peace, a hybrid form of war with economic sanctions and cyber wars, fake news and lies,” affirmed Prof. Dr Jürgen Moltmann at the opening of his public lecture at the headquarters of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, 2 December.

WCC general secretary condemns attack on Protestant church in Burkina Faso

In the wake of violence against a worshiping congregation in the town of Hantoukoura in Burkina Faso on 1 December, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the attack on innocent people gathered to worship on the first Sunday in Advent.