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WCC climate change meeting explores “just transitions”, plans for COP 24

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stressed that zero carbon emissions must be achieved by 2050 by the world if we are to avoid catastrophic climate impacts such severe and recurrent droughts, record-breaking storms as well as the inundation of small island states and coastal cities.

In Dominican Republic, thousands linger in statelessness

Shortly after a two-and-a-half-day fact-finding mission to the Dominican Republic, World Council of Churches (WCC) communications spoke with Sophia Wirsching, policy adviser on migration and development at Bread for the World, the German Protestant development service.

“Behold, I make all things new”: WCC’s Fourth Assembly in Uppsala 4-20 July, 1968

Fifty years ago, Dr Martin Luther King was still planning for his sermon at the opening of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Fourth Assembly in the serene town of Uppsala, Sweden. But just three months before the assembly’s opening service, he is assassinated. His dream of a new world is, however, alive at the assembly.

Jamaican churches campaign to end violence against women and girls

Rev. Gary Harriott knows there is a problem with violence against women and girls in Jamaica. Each year hundreds of women report having been raped and many more rapes and cases of aggression go unreported. Churches can make a difference by speaking out, he says.

WCC general secretary speaks on unity, love at AACC assembly

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke on “The Oneness of the Ecumenical Movement” at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) 11th General Assembly, being held in Kigali, Rwanda from 1-7 July.

Stout shoes, not warm gloves, needed for the next steps on the ecumenical path

When the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, Olav Fykse Tveit, first visited Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in December 2010 he took with him a pair of warm gloves as a gift for the pontiff.

WCC congratulates Cardinal Sako, Chaldean Church

In a 2 July letter, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit congratulated Louis Raphael I Sako of Babylon, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, on being ordained as a cardinal.

The Lutheran World Federation, Islamic Relief publish manual on faith-sensitive humanitarian action

On 29 June, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) published guidance aimed at helping humanitarian agencies attune their work to the faith and background of people affected by conflict, disaster and displacement.

Religious groups united on dignity for migrants and refugees make proposals on UN compacts

The United Nations is increasingly engaging with faith-based organizations in collaboration on migration and work with refugees and it heard the voices of religious leaders, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), when they met to offer recommendations on global compacts for people on the move. They met at the Palais des Nations on 26 June to lay out their vision.

South Sudanese churches welcome top leader’s agreement, but warn conflict has expanded

South Sudanese churches have welcomed the signing of a permanent ceasefire agreement by the main rivals, while cautioning that many other such pacts had also been dishonoured.

Ecumenical theological education: sharing space for transformational experiences

Eighteen theological educators and church representatives gathered on 22 June in Geneva for the second meeting of the Network of Institutions of Higher Ecumenical Theological Education (NIHETE). The inaugural meeting took place in Halle, Germany, in May 2016. NIHETE is an open platform of exchange on contents, methodologies and contexts of teaching ecumenism in the era of world Christianity.

God’s gift economy is key to churches’ mission

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, told the new Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council meeting that its stated theme—“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8)—not only “points to the most significant contribution of the Lutheran tradition” to the ecumenical movement but also “goes to the heart of our shared mission as churches.”

WCC calls for release of archbishops of Aleppo

The World Council of Churches Central Committee, during its meeting on 15-21 June, issued a statement reiterating its grave concern regarding the alarming and rapidly deteriorating situation of Christians in the Middle East. The Central Committee called for the release of two Syrian archbishops who were kidnapped near Aleppo, Syria.

Pope’s visit raises hopes for persecuted Christians

The visit of the pope to the World Council of Churches (WCC) has special significance, given the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa, where Christians are suffering persecution, says a member of WCC’s senior governing body.

New book launched to mark WCC’s 70th anniversary

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has published a book by British ecumenist Rev. Dr Donald W. Norwood presenting the story of the global church network since its creation in 1948. Pilgrimage of Faith: Introducing the World Council of Churches offers a lively and informative historical sketch of the organization and is a key resource to mark WCC’s 70th anniversary.

Rev. Frank Chikane: Working together to heal wounds of conflict

‘Walking, praying and working together’ was the theme of Pope Francis’ 21 June visit to Geneva to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Among those listening to the Pope's words was Pentecostal pastor Rev. Frank Chikane, one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

When the pope visits there is no gap, says young Indonesian pastor

Relations between Catholics and Protestants at the local level in East Indonesia are not as complex as talking about dogma at higher church levels, says a pastor from the Protestant Church in Maluku.

WCC publication addresses ecumenical pilgrimages for justice and peace

A book published this month by the World Council of Churches (WCC) offers reflections by Christians about what it means to be involved in efforts to contribute to peace and justice initiatives in their home context.

WCC joins call for release of mission personnel from Philippines

The World Council of Churches (WCC) joined the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church (UMC) as well as United Methodist bishops in the Philippines in appealing to the government of the Philippines for assistance and cooperation in extracting three United Methodist mission personnel from the country.

WCC receives 70th anniversary greetings

The World Council of Churches (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.

World conference on human rights and religion emphasizes equal citizenship to stem conflict

Speakers at a world conference on human rights and religion at the United Nations in Geneva, including the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, have stressed the need for equal citizenship rights to counter xenophobia and discrimination.

Green Village welcomed by international community

Representatives from the international sector of Geneva, other visitors and staff gathered on 11 June at the Ecumenical Centre to learn about the Green Village project and to celebrate approval of its Area Development Plan, which is now in effect.

Pope Francis at Palexpo: “I will pray for you”

“I will pray for you, that the Lord will accompany you at every step, particularly on the journey of ecumenism.” With these words, spoken at the close of the liturgy with 30,000 people in the convention hall of Palexpo, Pope Francis ended his daylong Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Geneva and offered a strong encouragement to the Catholic community in Switzerland to live ecumenically with the faithful of other denominations.

Special online issue of The Ecumenical Review focuses on World Council of Churches–Roman Catholic relations

To mark the visit of Pope Francis to the WCC on 21 June, a special online “Virtual Issue” of the WCC’s quarterly journal, The Ecumenical Review, is offering a set of articles about relationships between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.

Korean Christian leaders: churches have vital role in peace process

Korea’s Christian leaders have urged Catholics to work together with the WCC to help bring peace and reconciliation to their country. Rev. Dr Sang Chang, president of WCC’s Asia region, and Rev. Dr Lee Hong-jeong, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) were speaking as Pope Francis visited the headquarters of the ecumenical movement in Geneva to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary.