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Christian and Muslim women dialogue takes shape

In the comfort of a simple Swedish meeting room, 25 Christian and Muslim women met to talk about how religion, which is often blamed to cause violence, can move people toward peace.

WCC executive committee to meet in Germany

The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee will meet in Lübeck, Germany on 23-26 September. The global food crisis, the conflict in Darfur and the situation in Sri Lanka are some of the issues about which public statements will be considered. The committee will assess the progress done in shaping a new form of WCC assembly, review WCC programme plans and budget and appoint an acting general secretary for 2009.

In growing numbers, churches pray for peace on 21 September

Nearly 140 congregations and Christian groups in the United States are organizing public prayer events on the International Day of Prayer for Peace, on 21 September. Another grouping of churches from different countries around the world has committed to observe the day with a 24-hour prayer chain.

"Promised Land" conference brings about "constructive confrontation", new views on Israel-Palestine conflict

A conference on "Promised Land" that aired different theological approaches to this key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has given church leaders and theologians new views to take home to their churches. Some participants said their outlook had been changed by the "constructive confrontation" at the World Council of Churches (WCC) event.

WCC delegation finds deep wounds in South Ossetia, hears healing words in Moscow

The destruction of ethnic Georgian communities in South Ossetia, the deep wounds to local society and war damage to the capital city confronted a delegation from the World Council of Churches on the second half of a 3-7 September pastoral visit to Georgia and Russia. The findings added urgency to concerns raised by government and church officials during a stop in Moscow.

International conference addresses religious dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The need to "re-frame the religious dimensions" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a key goal of a 4-day international theological conference starting today in the Swiss capital, Bern. The conference involves some 65 theologians and church leaders from all over the world who are focusing on the issue of "Promised Land".

Ecumenical malaise demands new models of work

"New paradigms and models of ecumenical work and engagement" are necessary to counter "a malaise in the ecumenical movement" in Asia, a group of ecumenists from the region stated.

After a 4,000 km detour, ecumenical delegation to reach South Ossetia

A pastoral delegation sent by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to Georgia and Russia has not been able to visit South Ossetia from the Georgian side of the ceasefire line. Unable to make the half-hour drive to Tskhinvali from within Georgia, they are now traveling thousands of kilometers to reach the enclave from the Russian side instead.

Orissa: WCC and LWF ask for end of violence, solidarity

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) have jointly called on the Prime Minister of India requesting his intervention to end the violence in the state of Orissa. The WCC invites its member churches to join a call from Christians in India to hold a Day of Prayer and Fasting for peace and goodwill on Sunday, 7 September.

WCC delegation visits Georgia and Russia

A pastoral delegation from the World Council of Churches (WCC) will visit Russia and Georgia from 3 to 7 September. The delegation will listen to WCC member churches in both countries, encourage their efforts for peace and visit people displaced by the recent violence as well as church aid programmes.

Hurricanes prompt US churches to pray, work and speak out

As hundreds of thousands of people from the US Gulf Coast have evacuated their homes, fleeing from Hurricane Gustav as they did from Katrina three years ago, US churches keep praying and providing relief. They also denounce underlying social and economic conditions that make for the vulnerability of the region.

An international ecumenical debate on the issue of "promised land"

One challenge for churches addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the fact that it takes place in a land that different religions consider holy. A conference in Bern will discuss the concept of the "Promised Land" and related theological issues with a view to help more churches become advocates for a just peace.

Muslim and Christian women to explore religious contributions to peace

Some twenty Christian and Muslim women will meet 4-7 September in Gothenburg, Sweden, as part of a dialogue process labelled "Moving towards peace through religion". Hosted by the Diocese of Gothenburg of the Church of Sweden, the meeting follows one held last year in Teheran. The initiative is co-organized by the Iranian Institute for Interreligious Dialogue (IID) and the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Marking "Creation Day," Ecumenical Patriarch stresses need for environmental ethic

The spiritual and moral dimension s of climate change are best shown by how it affects the poorest and most vulnerable, says the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a message marking 1 September as a day of prayer for God's creation.

Ceremonies, books and broadcasts mark the WCC 60th anniversary

"Stating that in seeking Christ they found each other, the 147 churches that sixty years ago came together in Amsterdam, Netherlands committed themselves afresh to Christ and covenanted with one another in constituting the World Council of Churches (WCC)," said the Council's general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia as he prepared to leave for a commemorative event to be held at the location where the WCC was officially founded sixty years ago, 23 August 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.