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New WCC executive committee meets for first time

The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee meets at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute outside Geneva from 16-19 May 2006 at its first session since its election at the Council's 9th Assembly in Brazil earlier this year.

Take action to stop terminator seeds demands WCC general secretary

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, called upon churches and ecumenical partners to take action to stop "terminator technology". "Applying technology to design sterile seeds turns life, which is a gift from God, into a commodity. Preventing farmers from re-planting saved seed will increase economic injustice all over the world and add to the burdens of those already living in hardship," stated Kobia.

Vatican and WCC to pursue common code of conduct on religious conversion

The Vatican and the World Council of Churches (WCC) are launching a three-year joint study project aimed at developing a shared code of conduct on the controversial issue of religious conversion.

WCC staff honoured by Dutch monarch

Mr Huibert van Beek, until recently the WCC staff person responsible for the organisation's relationships with member churches, received a high Dutch distinction in honour of the Queen's birthday on 27 April 2006. Van Beek was named Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. He received the distinction because of his "exceptional meritorious service to the (world church) community".

WCC protests Israeli settlers' violence against Christian volunteers in Hebron

Expressing "alarm and concern" the World Council of Churches (WCC) has presented a formal protest to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland over two recent incidents involving violence by Israeli settlers against Christian volunteers participating in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

A review of the WCC's 9th Assembly

Just published, a booklet on the WCC's 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil reviews, in words and images, an event that gathered over 4000 people from churches throughout the world. An event that, in the words of the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, "heralded a new era in ecumenical history, to be marked by increasing attention to the spiritual strength of ecumenism along with the institutional concerns of the ecumenical movement".

WCC marks 20th anniversary of Chernobyl with interfaith ceremony and panel discussion

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the World Council of Churches (WCC) in cooperation with Green Cross International is organizing an

William Sloane Coffin

"One of the 20th century's great Christian pastors and activists for peace and justice" is how World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia describes US clergyman Rev. Dr William Sloane Coffin, Jr., who died on 12 April 2006, in a tribute issued on Maundy Thursday, April 13, 2006.

WCC asks European Union to give new Palestinian authority more time

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is urging the European Union to exercise "respect for the democratic mandate given by [the recent Palestinian] elections and time for the new government to find its feet and demonstrate its intentions," following the Council of the European Union's endorsement of a temporary halt to direct aid to the Palestinian government headed by Hamas.

Churches prepare to celebrate Easter

"Christ is risen. He is risen indeed." The joy of Easter is an expression of the yearning and hope that the chains of sin and death will be broken for all human beings and all creation, an affirmation that the transformative power of resurrection is at work in the world.

New HIV/AIDS teaching and advocacy resource

"Keep the promise" is the title of a new teaching resource on advocacy and HIV/AIDS produced by the WCC-related Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) with support from UNAIDS, the World AIDS Campaign and the World Health Organization.

Release of Iraq hostages

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia wrote 23 March to Christian Peacemaker Teams co-director Douglas Pritchard, expressing "great joy" at the news that three CPT team members held in Iraq had been freed.

Churches on five continents join churches in Palestine and Israel in advocacy for peace

While 50 people from eight countries were paying a solidarity visit to Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last week, related advocacy activities focusing on the situation in Israel and Palestine were taking place on five continents.

New research confirms vivid diversity of ecumenical movement

The vivid diversity of the ecumenical movement has been highlighted in new research, published by the World Council of Churches (WCC) this month, that confirms the continued growth of the fellowship of churches.

WCC congratulates UN on new Human Rights Council

The World Council of Churches (WCC) today thanked the United Nations General Assembly for its work in bringing a reshaped Human Rights Council into being.

Killing of Christian peacemaker in Iraq For more information, see the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) website , and the 02/12/2005 WCC press release + CPT material for memorial services

"Tom Fox was in Iraq as a religious peacemaker so that those who use violence to pursue their own plans for that much-troubled nation might see that this is no way toward peace," Peter Weiderud, director of the World Council of Churches' Commission of the Churches for International Affairs (WCC/CCIA), said in Geneva today.

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel, March 12-19, 2006

On March 12-19, 2006, church groups in a dozen countries and members of the International Pax Christi and Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) networks will participate in a joint advocacy initiative for peace in Palestine and Israel convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

WCC taxes Philippines government with violating democratic rights

"The actions of the government are in clear violation of the democratic rights of the Filippino people." This clear denunciation was made in a 7 March 2006 letter from World Council of Churches (WCC) deputy general secretary Georges Lemopoulos to Philippines president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.