Overcoming challenges of inequality in Asia: Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in the context of COVID-19

Asian regional webinar on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, organised by World Council of Churches and Christian Conference of Asia

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4th June 2021

08:00 - 10:00 - Geneva
11:30 - 13:30 - Delhi
13:00 - 15:00 - Bangkok
14:00 - 16:00 - Manila
15:00 - 17:00 - Seoul

Click here to register

The need for new theological approaches to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) have emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not just revealed the injustices including racism or economic inequity, but it has also changed the implementation of our mission and our common journey of pilgrimage. In this regard, the Asian regional online consultation responds to the emerging priority of COVID-19 and to the encouragement from the WCC July 2020 Executive Committee to have reflection on the PJP in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reflection aims to explore the impact of COVID-19 on our work of the PJP through the continuing journey of the previous initiatives that WCC and CCA undertook since the first surge of COVID-19.

Building upon the lessons learned from these previous initiatives, the regional online consultations provide opportunities for groups to explore further issues of COVID-19 in relation to the PJP by:

  • Reflecting theologically
  • Engaging experts of the issue
  • Engaging with local community organizations/activists
  • Suggesting action plans


Programme outline:


  • Dr Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of CCA

Opening remarks

  • Rev. Dr Sang Chang, WCC President from Asia- Opening remarks.
  • Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary- Insights received from the other regions in the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in the Context of COVID-19.

Key issues and discussants:

  • Challenges related to vaccine distribution and hesitancy in Asia - Dr T Jacob John
  • Issues of women, girls, and gender-based violence - Ms. Hanbeet Rhee.
  • The rights of Indigenous, tribal community; militarization and authoritarianism in Asia - Ms. Beverly Longid.
  • Facing the threats to livelihoods, Mental Health and unemployment- Youth perspective- Fr. Rony John.


Rounds of discussions:

Round I- Moderated discussion with specific questions addressed to the discussants.

Round II-Church response and reflections on moving forward.

Round III- Q & A session.

Concluding remarks

  • Dr Manoj Kurian, WCC - Summary of the key points received from the consultation.
  • Dr Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of CCA - Suggestions for actions and moving forward.


Public online event:      Zoom Webinar- Link to registration, also live streamed on the WCC YouTube and CCA YouTube channels.



Dr T Jacob John, Paediatrician and Virologist, retired professor and head, departments of clinical virology and microbiology, Christian Medical College (Vellore), and former director of The Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Centre of Advanced Research in Virology and the National HIV and AIDS reference centre. He was also a member of the WCC consultative group which lead the landmark global study on HIV (1994-1996).

Ms. Hanbeet Rhee, is a staff member in charge of Gender Equality and Climate Change at YWCA Korea, and also a member of the Presbyterian Church of Korea. She is a youth advisor for the Central Committee and a member of the Commission on Youth in the World Council of Churches. Hanbeet is serving as an Ambassador for Thursdays in Black campaign. She studied systematic theology for a master's degree at Ewha Womans University in the Republic of Korea.

Ms. Beverly Longid- is the Global Coordinator of International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL). Beverly is an indigenous Igorot belonging to the Bontok-Kankanaeys tribe from Sagada, Mountain Province in the Philippines. She is also the International Officer of Katribu - National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines, and Co-Chair of CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.

Fr. Rony John- is the Assistant Vicar St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Malad, Diocese of Bombay, India. A young minister who is a postgraduate in English Literature and trained in St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA, is responsible for the youth ministry of the diocese of his church. He is passionate and dynamically engaged in accompanying the youth to bridge the gap between physical and spiritual growth.