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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. 

Bedouins of Pope’s Hill fight eviction

East of Jerusalem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Bedouin community has lived on Pope’s Hill since the creation of Israel in 1948, when they were evicted from their lands in the Negev and arrived there as refugees.

Will children ever have safe access to education in Khan Al-Ahmar?

Khan Al-Ahmar is a Bedouin community of around 200 people whose main livelihood has been traditional farming of sheep and goats for consumption in the village, and for selling the milk, yogurt and meat. The closest village, Bethany, is 14 km away and, until recently, the women would take the dairy products to sell in the Jerusalem market, 19 km away. The children had an important role in the economy, herding the flocks, but they also went to school.

East Jerusalem: Denied citizenship and the vote

The status of Jerusalem is disputed in international law and the main issue is around the largely Palestinian area of East Jerusalem. Israel announced, in 1975, that “unified Jerusalem” was the capital of the State of Israel, ignoring the rights and claims of Palestine. International humanitarian law recognizes East Jerusalem as militarily occupied by Israel. To understand some of the issues for residents in East Jerusalem, we spoke to Nivin Sandouka, who is part of the EAPPI international reference group and lives in At Tur, a Palestinian village on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.

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. 

Peace and unity on the Korean Peninsula matters globally

While the peace process on the Korean Peninsula needs further progress built on trust, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected international humanitarian support and development cooperation efforts. World Council of Churches (WCC) communications invited Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, to discuss the current ecumenical engagement for Korea and role of churches in building a sustainable peace.

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.

Rev. Shin Seung-min: “We want to create hope, not despair”

Rev. Shin Seung-min, programme executive of the National Council of Churches in Korea, firmly believes that Christians live by the power of prayer. As he looks back at one of the largest global prayer campaigns in which he’s ever been involved, he sees that the year 2020 brought forth the power of prayer in unprecedented ways, even amid a year that brought grave suffering to the world.