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Films recognized for highlighting strength of the human spirit

The 2018 Ecumenical Jury recognized two films in the Cannes Film Festival. The first, “Capharnaum,” by Nadine Labaki from Lebanon, portrays women and children, immigrants and outcasts, who have shown by their perseverance and ingenuity, love and courage, the full possibility of the human spirit.

Join in “pilgrim prayers” for women overcoming violence

People across the world will have an opportunity to join in a special prayer for women who are standing strong in the face of gender-based violence. Each Thursday, beginning 31 May, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will release via its website and social media a prayer shared by members of “Pilgrim Teams” who have been visiting communities in conflict, and hearing the stories of women who are facing sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence and other injustices.

Korean churches plan prayer vigils ahead of June summit

In the weeks leading up to the summit planned for 12 June between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the National Council of Churches in Korea is planning prayer vigils to express hope for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Churches build message on ethics, economy for G20

Between 17–18 May, representatives of several religious denominations, theologians, economists, and experts in development and ecumenism gathered in São Paulo, Brazil, for the 3rd Dialogue on Ethics and Economics. They aim to build a common message to G20 leaders who will meet in Argentina later this year.

Security highest priority for papal visit

At a WCC press conference at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 15 May, two senior officers from the Geneva police force outlined security arrangements for the Pope’s historic visit to Geneva on 21 June, offering reassurances that the police are more than ready and well-equipped for such a visit.

USA church leaders offer “reclaiming Jesus” message

In a video message viewed by more than 1, 790 000 people, leaders in various USA-based churches are urging people to “reclaim Jesus” and reject narrow nationalistic and racist ideas.

Violence against women focus of meeting in Italy

At the third meeting of the Bologna Interreligious Round Table on Religion and Violence against Women, held 2 May, participants worked with the theme: “Do the churches move? Do men move?”

Faith communities demand action to end TB, a major killer in people living with HIV

The WCC-EAA is inviting a “letter writing action”, encouraging religious leaders and faith communities to speak out for action against Tuberculosis (TB).

As peace talks continue in South Sudan, faith groups share messages

As a High Level Revitalization Forum met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, met to discuss peace in South Sudan, faith groups shared clear messages urging an end to war and suffering.

WCC-UNICEF partnership vital for children in Tanzania

At the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, held in Tanzania in March, WCC communications interviewed Rene van Dongen, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Representative. Van Dongen spoke about Churches’ Commitments to Children, which is now supported by more than 200 churches and partners worldwide. The initiative was created when the WCC and UNICEF facilitated a broad consultative process around the question ‘How can churches use their influence to improve children’s lives?’

Churches aim to re-ignite their service in a hurting world

Seventy years ago, at its founding, the World Council of Churches (WCC) had already engaged in years of diaconial work, facilitating resettlement of hundreds of thousands of refugees after World War II. Now, two generations later, the WCC and sister ecumenical organizations have joined forces to re-envision and reignite diakonia for a new and radically different context.

Forum on modern slavery convenes in Argentina

Under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, an international forum on modern slavery convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 5-8 May. This forum, the second of kits kind, was entitled “Old Problems in the New World,” and was cosponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and South America, and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute based in Berkeley, California, USA.

Patriarch of Antioch consecrates new Syrian Orthodox Church in Oman

His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, concluded a maiden apostolic visit to the Sultanate of Oman. The highlight of the five-day visit was the consecration of the new church, Mor Shmouni, in Ghala, Muscat, Oman, on 10 May.

WCC calls for just peace and an end to impunity in the Holy Land

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned use of excessive violence by Israeli forces against civilian protestors in Gaza during last week in which many have lost their lives or lost their loved ones, and is particularly worried that some Christians are celebrating the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem as a gift from God, despite the disruptively provocative nature of this move.

Latin American, Caribbean theologians strengthen collaboration

Over 30 representatives of several theological institutions connected to the World Council of Churches programme of Ecumenical Theological Education (WCC-ETE) are gathered at the Faculty of Theology of the Methodist University of São Paulo, from 14-18 May, for the first Meeting on Ecumenical Theological Education of Latin America and the Caribbean in Global Dialogue.

Vatican and WCC announce details of visit by Pope Francis

The Vatican and the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Tuesday revealed details of the 21 June landmark visit of Pope Francis, a visit the WCC described as “a gift to churches”.

Media accreditation open for Pope Francis’ visit to WCC

Accreditation is now open for media looking to attend the events of 21 June 2018, as Pope Francis visits the World Council of Churches.

Media accreditation opens for WCC Central Committee 2018

The Central Committee of the WCC will meet 15-21 June for its third gathering since it was elected at the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea in 2013. The meeting will take place at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva and at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland.

Workshop focuses on statelessness in the Caribbean

A regional training workshop, “Statelessness in the Caribbean Context: Prevention, Reduction and Protection,” was held from 6-9 May in Willemstad, Curacao.

WCC offers condolences on passing of Rev. Dr Edwin Mulder

Upon the death of Rev. Dr Edwin Mulder, a major figure in global Protestantism in the 20th century, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed both condolences and gratitude in a letter to Mulder’s family.

WCC condemns terror attacks on churches in Indonesia, calls for end to violence

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the suicide bombing attacks at three separate churches in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Sunday.

The leadership of the WCC Central Committee gathered in Geneva

The leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee met in Geneva on 11 May to prepare for the Executive Committee meeting and the Central Committee meeting and the visit of Pope Francis in June.

A call for information: church projects helping children on the move

WHAT: A Global Church Partners Forum on “Children on the Move,” including refugees as well forcibly displaced children and adolescents. The forum will provide a platform for a diverse group of Christian faith-based organisations to reflect on how they are helping to end violence against children on the move.

In Holy Land, journey’s end also begins a new one

“Ecumenical accompaniers” (EAs) from more than 20 countries handed off the ‘road map’ of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) to a new group on 23 April.

When you have nothing, you give your heart

If the human spirit and likeness of God's will for peace with justice for all people is alive in the world, the pilgrim team that visited South Sudan this week has witnessed it. From 5-9 May, a World Council of Churches “Pilgrim Team” visited South Sudan under the theme “African Women of Faith and Gender Justice.” The delegation was hosted by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).