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After tragic Norway landslide, “God is providing light in the shadow”

On 30 December 2020, a tragic landslide struck the village of Ask, Norway, located in Gjerdrum, about 50 kilometers northeast of Oslo. Ten people were killed, and more than 1,000 people had to be evacuated from the area, even as they mourn lost loved ones in the close-knit community.

Below, Rt. Rev. Atle Sommerfeldt, bishop of Borg in the Church of Norway, reflects on how the church is bringing hope in the midst of what, for many in Gjerdrum, has become a valley of despair.

Christians worldwide prepare to gather in prayer for unity— even if distanced

Even as nations continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, final preparations are under way for one of the world’s largest annual prayer observances, traditionally celebrated 18-25 January. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity involves Christian communities from many traditions and all parts of the globe. At a time when public health concerns put a limit on physical gatherings, it provides an opportunity for churches to come together by means of a typically Christian practice that long predates modern transport: prayer.

WCC condemns Yemen blast, offers prayers for Croatian earthquake, Norway landslide

As the years change over the World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca on 31 December condemned the vicious Yemen attack hitting civilians. Sauca also expressed solidarity and prayers with churches and responders who continue to help hundreds of injured and traumatized people of the earthquake in Croatia and Norway landslide.

A hymn of hope ringing out loud during lockdown

In the midst of the nationwide lockdown, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Germany finds new ways to connect people in its congregations. It encourages all people to step out on balconies or come together by open windows, at 8 pm on Christmas Eve, and let their voices ring out loud in the Christmas carol "Silent Night.”

WCC podcast deals with death and dying

The new surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths has drastically increased the need for pastoral care almost everywhere. Brazil and Great Britain are two hard-hit countries, where the pandemic has brought existential questions on the table.  

“Coventry Cathedral continues to speak a word of hope to the world”

The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth is Bishop of Coventry, the senior leader of the Church of England in Coventry and Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. On 14 November 2020, Bishop Cocksworth, along with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as well as more than 30 other bishops, issued a statement welcoming the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and calling on the UK Government to join it. The statement coincided with the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry and destruction of its cathedral.

WCC makes urgent call for “lasting peace founded on justice and human rights” for people of Nagorno-Karabakh

The WCC executive committee issued a statement calling for calm and wisdom following six weeks of intense fighting for Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, suspended by an agreement announced between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. Welcoming an end to the bloodshed and destruction, the executive committee appealed for “a lasting peace founded on justice and human rights for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the wider region.”