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Johannesburg workshop explores theological side of reproductive rights

In Southern Africa, faith communities are uniquely equipped with theological resources that allow them to effectively advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights. As faith leaders and theologians from diverse faith communities gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa from 15-17 July, they reflected on the theological resources that can galvanise the faith community to provide leadership. The workshop was organised by ACT Ubumbano in collaboration with Faith to Action Network.

World Week for Peace highlights humanity and equality

Under the theme “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”, people of faith all over the world are encouraged to bear common witness by gathering in prayer and acts of support during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This yearly manifestation of solidarity and hope takes place 15 – 22 September and as usual it includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud: “Work for a world that’s a better place”

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State on 17 July. She paused to speak with WCC Communication with a word about what has inspired her life’s work for peace.

WCC general secretary meets with Indigenous representative from Latin America

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met last week with Rev. Miguel Salanic, from Guatemala, in Geneva, Switzerland. They discussed the role of indigenous people as part of the living WCC fellowship and the preparations leading up to the WCC 11th Assembly to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021.

WCC invites all to support Global Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

The World Council of Churches invites all people of good will to observe a Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula on 11 August.

The voice of young people at the Human Rights Council

Virag Kinga Mezei is a Hungarian intern for the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. With a passion for human rights, she regularly engages in discussions while also getting training through the WCC on mechanisms that lead to the achievement of racial and social justice.

Pan African Conference celebrates the past, inspires the future

With a combination of joyous celebration and thorough research, women and men gathered at the University of Botswana from 1-4 July under the theme “Mother Earth, Mother Africa in theological/Religious/Cultural/Philosophical Imagination.” Eighty papers were presented, and participants came from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and other African countries and the diaspora. All were brought together by their concern on ecological degradation.

Youth conference on Laudato Si' addresses urgency of tackling current global ecological crisis

Millions of churches, mosques, synagogues and temples around the world that embrace sustainability in their investments, buildings and teachings are a symbol of hope for the planet struggling with an ecological crisis, said Joyce Msuya, a Tanzanian microbiologist who is the deputy executive director for the Nairobi-based UN Environment.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud honored with International Religious Freedom Award

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, has received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State. The awards “honor extraordinary advocates of religious freedom from around the world” and will be presented on 17 July in Washington, D.C.

Prayer will be heartbeat of WCC 11th Assembly

As the Worship Assembly Planning Committee had its first meeting in Baden, Germany from 5-11 July, prayer was at the forefront for becoming the heartbeat of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th assembly in Karlsruhe in September 2021.

Mark MacDonald named archbishop of National Indigenous Anglican Church of Canada

In a historic vote, the general synod of the Anglican Church of Canada bestowed the title of archbishop upon Mark MacDonald, president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for North America. Before the synod, MacDonald was bishop of the National Indigenous Anglican Church of Canada.

At Human Rights Council, WCC advocates for human dignity

The World Council of Churches (WCC) made a positive impact at the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, held 24 June through 12 July. The WCC has a long history of engagement with the United Nations human rights system, in witnessing and advocating for human dignity and justice on behalf of the worldwide ecumenical movement.

WCC general secretary: “Children need a reconciled world”

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke as part of a panel at a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC). The event was held at the Ford Foundation on 15 July.

Church delegation shares priorities with Finnish presidency of EU Council

An ecumenical delegation composed of representatives from the Conference of European Churches and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union met in Helsinki on 12 July with Pekka Haavisto, Finnish minister of Foreign Affairs, to exchange on the priorities of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.

Asian Ecumenical Institute to train next generation of leaders

Twenty-seven young ecumenists from across Asia are currently attending the month-long Asian Ecumenical Institute organized by the Christian Conference of Asia. The programme aims to provide ecumenical formation and leadership development training for prospective church and ecumenical leaders. It is being held at the Christian Conference of Asia headquarters in Payap University Campus in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

WCC supports Zacchaeus campaign for tax justice

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is supporting a new ecumenical campaign advocating for tax justice, called the Zacchaeus Project (#ZacTAX), that was launched 11 July at the United Nations in New York City.

Peace forum: “there must be no more war on the Korean Peninsula”

An Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, held 10-12 July in Bangkok, has issued a communique that reiterates calls for peace and outlines possible steps toward renewed dialogue.

WCC general secretary reflects on renewed bonds with IJCIC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris. This meeting was held under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today.” Below, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflects on how restored relations between the two groups transpired.

Heads of Jerusalem Churches hold prayer rally in protest of Jaffa Gate properties case

On 11 July, the Heads of Jerusalem Churches held a prayer rally near Jaffa Gate’s Imperial and Petra hotels, in protest of Israel’s Supreme Court decision to overturn the appeal made by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate against the sale of three of its properties to a settlement group.

The story of an historic gift from Pope Francis “It’s a step forward towards unity”

Archbishop Job of Telmessos, who serves as permanent representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches (WCC), met with the WCC News and describes receiving an extraordinary gift from Pope Francis on 29 June.

WCC delegation reflects on World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion

The World Council of Churches (WCC) coordinated an ecumenical delegation that attended the World Conference on Statelessness and Inclusion held 26-28 June at The Hague.

Theologians from around the world debate intercultural Christology

The Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz hosted an international conference on “The Many Faces of Jesus Christ: Contextual Christology in a New World Come of Age.” Meeting from July 4-6 on the university campus, the conference brought together 20 scholars from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America to listen to and debate new developments in Christology from around the world. Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal and Reformed theologians made presentations on Christology, as reflected in theological writings, poetry, art, music and murals, and lived experience.

Lebanon consultation seeks understanding of disability from a human rights perspective

Eighteen leaders from the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network met in Beirut, Lebanon on 3-5 July, to addresses concerns in the region and to evaluate the strategic plan.

WCC helps local French community say “no” to bottled water

Residents of Divonne, France approached the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network to help them stop a proposed plant for bottled water in Divonne, which is situated on the border with French-speaking Switzerland, between the foot of the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva.

WCC climate justice project wins Keeling Curve Prize

On 28 June, a World Council of Churches (WCC) intergenerational climate justice project was awarded the Keeling Curve Prize, a recognition for initiatives that offer solutions to reduce global warming. The WCC project supports adolescents engaging in climate justice through church-run schools, Sunday schools, and summer camps. The project stems from Churches’ Commitments to Children, a partnership between the WCC and UNICEF.