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Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

Because God Loves Me - Affirming My Value in Christ

“Because God Loves Me—Affirming My Value in Christ,” a new curriculum written in French that is designed to help children ages 7-12 address gender-based violence.

Though the curriculum, edited by Yvette A. Kelem and Blandine E. Ackla, was developed for use primarily with churches and church groups in Africa, it is relevant and accessible for other French-speaking populations as well.

The Christian education programme encourages the full involvement of children, adolescents and youth in becoming early proponents of nonviolence. Developed for children's Bible study leaders, teachers, parish volunteers, and others who work with children, the curriculum serves as a guide to help churches live into their responsibility to protect all children, girls and women from gender-based violence.

Arctic communities to WCC pilgrims: “We need your voice”

Lorraine Netro, who was raised in the Gwichin First Nation of Old Crow, Yukon (Canada), is part of an indigenous community—but shes also a global citizen.

Todays Arctic peoples are important members of global society,” Netro said. The survival of Arctic cultures and communities remains tied to the wildlife and landscape of the Arctic Refuge.”

Economic and fiscal challenges from COVID-19

The aftermath of the pandemic will present enormous long-term political, social and economic challenges. After the pandemic has subsided, there will be an enormous financial cost to be calculated – especially in terms of increased government debt for almost every country. In particular, there is a very real risk that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will not be met. As Christians, we cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for inaction and the preferential option for the poor must be recognised.

Health-Promoting Churches Volume II:

A handbook to accompany churches in establishing and running sustainable health promotion ministries

Based on the premise that the local congregation is the primary agent for healing, and each individual member has a unique gift to contribute to this healing ministry, this book provides guidelines, resources and tools to equip and support local Christian congregations in starting a sustainable health ministry.

It provides a theological and public health basis of the Health Promoting Churches (HPC) model and a guide on organizing the HPC programme sustainably.

WCC answers your questions about vaccines

On World Immunization Week, the World Council of Churches is joining UNICEF and other organizations across the world in encouraging vaccinations for global health. Below, Dr Mwai Makoka, WCC programme executive for Health and Healing, answers often-asked questions about vaccines. He provides some history of vaccines, reflections on the role of faith-based groups, and why children and others are so vulnerable if they don’t receive vaccines.

Defending the ‘blue soul of life’

Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, from Spain, is the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. In this interview with WCC News, he talks about the significance of these human rights, his plans and priorities for his mandate, and to that end, the role of faith, spirituality and ethics. 

Not good enough

The synthesis report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the National Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement was released at the end of last February. This report sums up the NDCs reported to UNFCCC until 31 December 2020. It represents 40% of the parties and 30% of the global emissions.

Vaccination hesitance poses yet another challenge

As vaccination programmes are being rolled out in more and more countries, there is hope for an end of a pandemic which has brought fear and anxiety around the globe since early 2020. A return to an everyday life, where people can socialize with family and friends, go to work as they used to and worship God together in church on Sundays, is eagerly awaited. 

Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage

A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

To commemorate a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Council of Churches provides this resource for a week of prayer.
This book was designed as a resource for use in prayer groups, congregational services, personal prayer, and in the pastoral accompaniment of those directly affected in different ways by the pandemic. The prayers, messages, reflections, statistics and WCC resources have roots in faith challenged by mourning, fear and uncertainty in different contexts worldwide. 

Water on Wall Streets: understanding the evils of water futures markets

I teach water law, especially the water laws of the western United States.  Every year we discuss the question of water marketing, which is a well-established practice now in the somewhat arid western portion of the United States.  Naturally, students and others ask about the recent development of a futures market for water in California. Here is my answer: the creation of a futures market for water is the ultimate act of commodifying water in California. It is dangerous, inequitable, and quite contrary to the rule in water law that prohibits financial speculation in water. 

World Cancer Day

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17)

Many verses in scripture accurately portray some of the emotions around cancer: pain and suffering, mortality and loss, comfort and redemption, faith and eternity.

No room at the inn

Thousands of people hit by two hurricanes that lashed Honduras in November have spent Christmas in makeshift street shelters.  Local churches responded with what they have, providing shelterfood and clothing. But their needs are great and the resources few. These photographs are from Sean Hawkey. He has reported on the double disaster for the World Council of Churches introducing us to some of the people living this disaster.

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

As repeat hurricanes threaten, churches offer vital services in Nicaragua, Honduras

Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck, Nicaragua and Honduras are now bracing for another massive storm, Hurricane Iota. Eta killed at least 120 people in flash floods and mudslides. By 15 November, ahead of Iota’s landfall, some 63,500 people had been evacuated in northern Honduras, and 1,500 people in Nicaragua had been moved from low-lying areas of the country's northeast. Carlos Rauda, a regional officer with ACT Alliance, offers a glimpse of this unfolding situation, and the important role of churches.