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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.

Pilgrims accompany Korean women’s struggles with fallout of 70-year war

A Women of Faith Pilgrim Team gathered, some in person and others virtually, in South Korea from 13-15 July. They were there to listen and accompany Korean church women as they called for an end to patriarchy – manifested in the Japanese colonization of Korea and establishment of ‘comfort women’ and also in the Korean War — and to the resulting pain and injustice that remains a grim daily reality for many today.

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.

Hanbeet Rhee: “Young people can be bridges”

Our series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors highlights those who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Hanbeet Rhee, from the Presbyterian Church of Korea, is a member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea. She is also a commissioner with the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS programme, as well as a youth advisor for the WCC Central Committee.

WCC organises event on “The Human Rights Situation in the Philippines”

As more and more people in the Philippines lose their loved ones to extrajudicial killings, and are falsely accused of crimes by the authorities, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is increasing its support and accompaniment of people fighting for human rights in the Philippines.
On 16 September, concerned colleagues and guests gathered in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva to attend an event entitled: “Defending the Sanctity of Life and Dignity of Creation: The Human Rights Situation in the Philippines”. The event gave a platform to four different speakers from victim, human rights and church perspectives.

“Economy of life” lifted up at special school in Indonesia

Participants at the annual Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management are exploring how an Economy of Life is a key pillar of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. The school is running from 19-30 August in Bogor, Indonesia. “We hope the Governance, Economics and Management School will empower participants to act, lobby for change and even influence socio-economic policymaking,” said Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, deputy general secretary of the World Council of Churches.

Christians in Seoul celebrate Liberation Day

Hundreds of Christians gathered this afternoon around the Statue of Peace in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in front of the Japanese embassy, to celebrate Liberation Day. They displayed photos of butterflies and flowers as a symbol of the comfort to women who were sexual slaves during the Japanese occupation.

Australian churches confront domestic and family violence

In January 2019, Aya Maasarwe, a university exchange student in Melbourne, was walking home at night and speaking to her sister on her phone. She was attacked, raped and murdered.
The public outcry intensified a national debate about violence against women in Australia following several high-profile murders in the country.

Churches across the globe prepare for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

From 18-25 January, Christians will embark on the largest prayer gathering in the world, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Whether praying together, exchanging preachers or planning ecumenical services, they will bear witness to Jesus’s prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe.”

WCC calls for prayer for flood-stricken Kerala, India

As the worst flooding in half a century struck the southern India state of Kerala, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called for prayers for those affected and for those responding, and expressed his sympathy for those who have lost loved ones in the disaster.

Korean Christian leaders: churches have vital role in peace process

Korea’s Christian leaders have urged Catholics to work together with the WCC to help bring peace and reconciliation to their country. Rev. Dr Sang Chang, president of WCC’s Asia region, and Rev. Dr Lee Hong-jeong, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) were speaking as Pope Francis visited the headquarters of the ecumenical movement in Geneva to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary.