Flying Birds-Sky

Hundreds of birds fly over the Vama Siret border crossing, which connects northeast Romania with Ukraine. Located north of Siret and further in the south the city of Suceava, the crossing connects Romania with the Ukrainian village of Terebleche and further north the city of Chernivtsi. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military starting on 24 February 2022, thousands of refugees have fled across the Ukrainian border into Romania, Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The second publication of biblical reflections on statelessness presents new perspectives, including Indigenous voices and reflections on the meaning of land. The publication is designed as a tool for discussion and reflection during Bible studies in congregations, communities, Sunday schools, and theological seminaries around the world.

Rev. Prof. Dr Konrad Raiser, former WCC general secretary and a contributor to the new volume, reflected on the connection between the ecumenical movement, combating racism, and ending statelessness. It is one of the significant fruits of the modern ecumenical movement that the churches have begun to confront all forms of racism, ethno-centrism, and exclusive nationalism and to accept again their biblical call to welcome the stranger and to present themselves as inclusive communities,” he said.

Rev. Kelli Jolly, an ordained Methodist minister from Nassau, Bahamas, noted that, in The Bahamas, much of what is understood as gender roles that translate into the way the feminine is treated in society comes from church culture. It is therefore largely the churchs responsibility to address gender inequality in scriptural interpretation, doctrine and approach to the law with more integrity and solemnity for human dignity than in the past,” she said. The feminine presence in society is life-giving, life-nurturing, and within itself worthy of the highest dignity and grace alongside all other expressions of gender.”

Jolly added: We have been called to be guided not by human selfishness, fear and the need to hoard privilege, but we are called to be guided by the love, the light and the compassion of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit above all else.”

Segma Asfaw, WCC programme executive, said it was especially meaningful to release the new volume to coincide with the International Day of Conscience.

The Bible teaches us that when one member of the society is hurting, the entire society suffers,” she said. "The same applies to stateless people: if some members of the society are excluded from the citizenry and thereby experience discrimination, the entire society is not at peace.”


Access the Publications: I Belong Volume 2

WCC Webinar explores links between racism, nationality and statelessness