Closing service of Kirchentag in Wittenberg, Germany, May 2017

WCC News invited a few members of the central committee to share a message on Love heals, not hurts.” They also shared why they participate in the global Thursdays in Black  campaign—why they speak up against violence and rape.

The special Valentines message, also shared via social media cards, is an annual tradition thats part of the WCCs work toward gender justice.

The message is especially vital currently, as violence against women has increased under COVID-19-related restrictions, so much so that UN Women has labelled gender-based violence the shadow pandemic.” According to their survey data, one in two women report that they, or someone they know, has experienced violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, three in five women believe that sexual harassment in public places has worsened, according to a UN survey.

In short videos, WCC central committee members share the current reality of sexual and gender-based violence, why they participate in Thursdays in Black, and their belief in the faith imperative to speak for love that heals and supports.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, WCC central committee vice moderator, recalled Jesuswords, Love one another as I have loved you.”

Swenson urged: Lets practice that this Valentines Day and end violence against women.”

Watch these Valentines Day messages:

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, United Methodist Church and vice moderator, WCC central committee

Rt Rev. Arnold C. Temple, Methodist Church, Sierra Leone

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, World Methodist Council

Ms Miriam Jane Weibye, Church of Scotland

Archbishop Emeritus Dr Anders Wejryd, Church of Sweden and WCC president for Europe

Rev. Dr Mauro de Souza, Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil