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On the ambiguities of border and our quest for unity today

In the world today, border is far from a neutral or natural notion. Depending on the context of interpretation, it evokes different thoughts and emotions. For some, it may recall an expensive wall of xenophobia. For others, it could mean a gateway to safety and refuge, or the relentless defense against hostile aggressors. As we ponder the theme “Christ’s love (re)moves borders,” we shall begin by asking: What are borders? At a time when world powers are trying to change borders by force, what does it mean for Christ’s love to (re)move borders? And, ultimately, how do we discern between ideological pacifism and true unity?

Borders and Migrants

On 20 May 2022, a group of us, 14 pilgrims from different parts of the world (Kenya, Brussels, Germany, Hong Kong, Philippines, Poland, Rome, Korea, Canada, Fiji, Australia, London, Scotland, and Geneva—a very diverse group) gathered in Palermo, Italy for a Pilgrim Team Visit on the theme of migration. 

WCC visit to Italy harvests examples of the churches’ unconditional support to refugees and migrants

The Central Mediterranean route is the overseas crossing from North Africa to Italy. Those migrating on this route generally aim to reach Italian shores but leave from a variety of North African countries bordering the Mediterranean. Though in past years most migrants have departed from Libya, which is a destination for migrants as well as a transit country, there is also a proportionally small but growing number of departures from Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.

Churches´Commission for Migrants in Europe release European church leaders’ statement on response of Europe to refugees

The Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe - CCME released a statement that speaks about the response of Europe to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The statement addresses the concerns of discriminatory treatment of non-Ukrainians and minority ethnic people in this context and the more general question that the generosity shown in recent weeks often has not been extended to those fleeing from elsewhere.

Below, Dr Torsten Moritz, general secretary at the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe, reflects on why church leaders requested such a statement, and what lies at the heart of some of their different inputs.

With boldness of faith, joy and peace, Pan African women hold “Ubuntu” gathering

Women of faith who are African or of African descent held a powerful recent gathering, Ubuntu: Remembrance, Diversity, and Advocacy in Unity Now!” in which they shared their call to action with a sense of Sankofa, or a season of now while looking back and forward. The event was organized by the Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN) and Pan African Women of Faith (PAW).

Groundbreaking global conference opens gates to a Pan-Africanism for all and with all to finally defeat scourge of racism

Over 23-29 October, a Global Conference of Africa and Africans in the Diaspora (AAD) revisited the historical 1945 Manchester Pan-African Conference and critically reviewed progress made since then. Speakers and participants also worked to determine and develop effective global strategies to radically change the lot of Africans and people of African descent globally—and thereby defeat the scourge of racism in the world.

Stolen dreams, stolen generations

Human trafficking continues to remain one of the most grievous assaults on the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of people. The crime, also known as modern-day slavery, is dehumanising in the sense that it corrupts one’s identity as being made in the image of God, instead reducing one to a mere commodity or object.

Symposium to examine role of religion and the UN in working for gender equality in 2021

Senior UN staff, representatives from faith groups and members of civil society will be presenting at the 7th Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs on January 26, 2021. This year’s event will focus on “2021: A defining year for accelerating gender equality, equity and justice,” with a series of presentations and discussions on issues including multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate gender equality, equity and justice, the urgency for achieving it, women advancing peace and security, and multilateralism and the intersection of religion and human rights.