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Christmas: A time for inclusive celebration

“Let us promote inclusion from the family to society level.” This was the clarion call made by Rachna Singh, National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) executive committee member and Sanjay Singh, director of the Church of North India stewardship ambassadors’ ministry during the Christmas celebrations of people with disabilities on 1 December at the NCCI Campus in Nagpur.

Learning exchange focuses on human rights among indigenous people

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation and World Council of Churches held a learning exchange activity in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 28 November. The activity was attended by indigenous peoples’ organizations and support networks from the Philippines, Zambia, Peru, and Colombia.

EKD launches resource for churches to engage on sustainable development

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has recently made available a discussion paper affirming the significance of Agenda 2030 and placing specific demands upon those in positions of responsibility within politics, civil society and churches.

Rev. Dr Rebecca Peters receives scholar-activist award

Rev. Dr Rebecca “Toddie” Peters received Auburn Seminary’s 2018 Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award at the American Academy of Religion on 19 November in Denver, Colorado (USA). Peters first because involved in gender justice when she responded to an internship advertised on a flyer from the Presbyterian Church headquarters.

WCC hones training on attitudes toward HIV treatment

The WCC is absorbing valuable input from communities in Rwanda that will help hone training aimed at changing attitudes toward antiretroviral medication for people living with HIV.

WCC general secretary receives honorary doctorate from Serampore College

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was invited to address a significant and historic gathering of Theological institutions in India on the 4th of December. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from the Senate of Serampore College which represents 60 Theological Colleges in South Asia.

Faith groups at COP24 advocate for just transitions

Faith-based groups gathered on 2 December, the eve of the opening of the United Nations climate conference, in Katowice, Poland, for an Interfaith Talanoa Dialogue to take stock of the collective global efforts to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Politicization of religion and vice versa threatens Asian harmony

Under the topic “Politicisation of Religion and Religionization of Politics in Asia”, the Christian Conference of Asia’s (CCA) general secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara shared serious concerns about emerging trends where religions are used for political power gains and vice versa.

Meetings in the WCC and Bossey widen horizon for ordinands

Twenty ordinands from the Church of Sweden accompanied by Rev. Pehr-Albin Edén, ecumenical officer, and professors from the Church of Sweden Study Institute, visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in November. This has become a real tradition for the Swedish who come every year.

Church leaders present Christmas statement on refugees and migrants to the European Parliament

Church leaders in Europe stand together for an approach on refugees and migrants “based on dignity, respect, and where possible compassion”. This is the conclusion of a festive ceremony in which the leaders of the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) handed over on 4th December a European Church leaders Christmas statement to the European Parliament’s 1st Vice President Mairead McGuinness.

Panel on education and peace at UN in Geneva draws faith and secular sectors together

Peace education to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between people involving the religious and secular sectors is needed to counter uncertainty fed by radicalization and xenophobia, says a leading human rights advocate.

COP24: Global church bodies urge transformative action to protect the most vulnerable

As the United Nations climate summit kicks off in Katowice, Poland, global church organizations including the World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and ACT Alliance called for renewed global solidarity and urgency of action to support the communities at the frontline of climate change impacts.

Dr Cecile De Sweemer, the doer of God

Dr Cecile De Sweemer, who served as staff of the Christian Medical Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1982 to 1986, died on the 27 November in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). De Sweemer, a Belgian medical doctor with a doctorate in International Health from Johns Hopkins University, with extensive experience in Asia and Africa, was a dedicated and compassionate physician.

Interfaith submission to Talanoa Dialogue calls for respecting Mother Earth

A network of faith-based organizations, including the World Council of Churches (WCC), has released a submission to the Talanoa Dialogue. The title of the submission is: “Respecting Mother Earth and caring for ecological systems, the most vulnerable communities and all future generations.”

Writing group on Ecumenical Considerations for Buddhist-Christian Dialogue meets in Geneva

A group of clergy, interfaith practitioners and scholars met in Geneva from 26-27 November to produce a document outlining ecumenical considerations for Buddhist-Christian relations and dialogue.

WCC expresses condolences upon death of Bishop Nibaron Das

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent a message of condolence to the family and church community of Bishop Nibaron Das, chairman of the Bangladesh Methodist Church. Das passed away on 23 November.

Liberia Council of Churches reflects on economic and spiritual challenges

In advance of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) assembly, its members reflected on the economic and spiritual challenges in the nation last week.

WCC sends 60th anniversary greetings to Bread for the World

On 28 November, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent a congratulatory greeting to Bread for the World, the German Protestant development service.

The American Academy of Religion stimulates WCC publishing plans

A large-scale gathering of religious scholars, publishers, and librarians in the United States has yielded promising new ideas for the publications programme of the World Council of Churches (WCC) over the next few years.

WCC mourns passing of Rev. Dr Yam Kho Pau

Rev. Dr Yam Kho Pau, a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and immediate past general secretary of the Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC), passed away on 25 November in Yangon.

BBC radio shows in Scotland highlight gender justice, WCC leaders

A worship service at the Glasgow University Chapel on 25 November featured recorded contributions by World Council of Churches (WCC) deputy general secretary Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri as well as two other women who have dedicated their lives to promoting gender justice.

Canadian churches celebrate WCC’s 70th anniversary

The Atlantic School of Theology in Nova Scotia, Canada, celebrated the 70th anniversary of the WCC on 22 November at a chapel service. Also in Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches Governing Board members were pleased to hear from WCC representatives during their meeting in Ontario from 21-23 November.

WCC condemns killing of Catholic priests in South Sudan, Cameroon

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the killing of two Catholic priests, one in South Sudan and another, less than one week later, in Cameroon.

Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos celebrates Silver Jubilee

His Eminence Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church celebrated his Episcopal Silver Jubilee, or 25 years in ministry, on 17 November. Metropolitan Nicholovos is a member of the WCC Executive Committee. In an interview with WCC Communication, he reflects on his 25-year milestone, as well as on the challenges and joys of the ecumenical movement today.

Faith leaders mobilise for children and adolescents living with HIV and TB

In Nairobi, faith leaders, children and adolescents joined efforts to mark World Children’s Day, for action together on HIV and TB.