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In pictures: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Prayers for unity took on a different look and feel this year, but they weren’t stopped by widespread restrictions on face-to-face gatherings. From prayer cards to personal reflections, online gatherings to new connections, the images worldwide convey the spiritual richness of an ecumenical family that came together in prayer.

Easter at home: celebrations still bring joy thanks to creative delivery

As Christians across the world prepare to celebrate Easter shuttered in their homes, they will still find the joy of the day and feel closer to each other, thanks to creative thinking by church leaders.

From including photos of church members within webcast worship services, to placing written greetings at doorways, Easter celebrations can still safely connect people who want to celebrate the resurrection of their common Lord.

WCC general secretary reflects on the ecumenical movement of Love

In a speech at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) meeting in Cyprus this week, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the theme of the upcoming WCC 11th Assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

WCC mourns passing of Metropolitan Anba Bishoy of Damietta

The World Council of Churches is mourning the passing of Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh, Barary, and the Monastery of Saint Demiana of the Coptic Orthodox Church. One of the senior and most influential Coptic Orthodox Prelates of the modern era, he has made extensive contributions in the areas of Pan-Orthodox unity, dialogue and ecumenism. He was a close colleague of the late Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria.

Coptic Pope and Oriental Patriarchs on historic visit in Germany

Together with the heads of the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian and Indian Orthodox Churches, the Evangelical Church in Germany celebrated on Saturday evening in Berlin an ecumenical prayer for Christians in the Middle East. The jointly prepared service was the highlight of a historic visit. For the first time, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch Ignatius Afrem II, Catholicos Karekin II and Catholicos Baselios Morthoma Paulose II visited together in Germany to inform political and church representatives on the bad and sad situation in the region of origin of Christianity.

Historic ecumenical prayer in Egypt for peace and unity

Church leaders, led by Pope Tawadros II and Pope Francis, were gathered to pray for the people of Egypt, for unity, for peace and justice in St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, the chapel next to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral that was bombed in December 2016, now restored.

“There are no strangers here” – Saint Irenaeus a key to unity?

How can the early founding fathers of the church inform us as Christians in the 21st century, what stands at the centre of their theology, and how can we continue to envision a future of unity in the church? The questions were numerous as scholars, students and theologians met at the Anaphora Institute near Cairo, Egypt, to explore the theme of “Saint Irenaeus and Enlightened Humanity” on 14-16 December.

WCC welcomes meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill for unity and peace

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has issued a statement on behalf of the Council hailing the historic meeting of Pope Francis, pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and Patriarch Kirill, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.The two leaders met on 12 February in Havana, Cuba.

Common prayer in Geneva responds to acts of violence

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 was to have been the principal focus of the service of Sunday morning prayer on 15 November in the cathedral church of Saint-Pierre at the summit of Geneva’s old town. Following terror attacks in Beirut and Paris killing and wounding hundreds of civilians over the preceding days, the prayers of the Protestant Church of Geneva and the WCC Executive Committee took on a new dimension.

Cardinal Kurt Koch tells WCC News: We have to deepen our solidarity

Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Roman Catholic Church, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has granted an interview to WCC News. The conversation took place at the Global Christian Forum in Tirana, Albania where 150 high level leaders and representatives of various church traditions from more than 60 countries gathered to listen and learn from one another and to stand in solidarity with churches and Christians experiencing discrimination and persecution in the world today.

Prayers for peace in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and beyond

This Lenten season, the WCC invites its member churches to pray on Sunday 29 March for those affected by wars in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt. The season of prayer is meant to revive hope from hopelessness, taking into account the vulnerability of minority communities and the threat of losing the diversity of the social fabric in this region.