Ezéchiel Hébié

Ezéchiel Hébié, member of the drafting group of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024 materials from the Chemin Neuf community in Burkina Faso.


The experience of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024 Resource Writing Group is a first for ecumenism in Burkina Faso,” said Hébié. I believe that the seeds sown by this collaborative work have had significant effects on several levels.”

The first effect is deeper mutual knowledge among various churches in Burkina Faso, he said, adding that the second effect is a greater interest in and awareness of the importance of praying for Christian unity. 

For example, in the Archdiocese of Ouagadougou, meetings were organised with all the local parish representatives responsible for Christian unity issues, and Week of Prayer for Christian Unity materials were printed and distributed to all the parishes. 

A third notable effect was that ecumenical alliances were forged between churches of different denominations, Catholic and Protestant,” said Hébié.

The high point of the celebration for Hébié was welcoming brothers and sisters of different Christian denominations and representatives of various Christian churches, to whom he gave the water of fraternal welcome in gourds and an embrace to express their love for each other.

The theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024 was You shall love the Lord your God ... and your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:27).

I would say that this theme is more than topical in today's world, which is marked by an upsurge in armed conflicts and wars, inter-community conflicts, terrorism and jihadism, extreme violence just about everywhere in the cities on the one hand, and on the other hand by tougher conditions for crossing borders between countries and taking in refugees, a resurgence of nationalism and rejection of migrants,” said Hébié. 

In addition, there are global social and economic injustices marked by the extreme poverty of millions of people suffering from hunger every year in a so-called developed world marked by the waste of thousands of tonnes of food and global wealth held by a minority of rich people who refuse to share more equitably and to help bring about truly sustainable development.”

All these difficult places and relationships call out to us and question the profound meaning of this theme of loving God and our neighbour as ourselves, Hébié noted. Our world today is suffering more from a lack of love than from a lack of means!”

As 2025 marks the year that the World Council of Churches will commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea, Hébié sees the commemoration as a unique opportunity. This is an opportunity that churches and Christians throughout the world must seize to welcome more fully the richness of our reconciled diversities on the one hand, and on the other, to pray together and weave more alliances to draw closer together and break down even more the walls of separation that still exist between our churches,” he said. And to do this, we can draw strength and grace from this commandment of love: love God and love your neighbour as yourself!”

WCC member churches in Burkina Faso

Learn more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Ecumenical meeting in Burkina Faso

Ecumenical meeting in Burkina Faso on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity resources for 2024.