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South Hebron Hills families share stories of life under occupation

Jack Munayer, coordinator for the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI), recently visited the South Hebron Hills area with diplomatic delegates from eight different countries, as well as Israeli activists. The visit was organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The group visited families and listened to their stories with the goal of discerning the nature of hardship and trauma that the occupation continues to cause.

East Jerusalem Initiative: accompanying families facing eviction and displacement

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is beginning an East Jerusalem Initiative, through which the WCC-EAPPI is accompanying—even without a physical presence—families facing eviction and displacement, as well as people facing other violations of their rights. Below, WCC director of the Commission for the Churches on International Affairs Peter Prove explains the goals and history behind the East Jerusalem Initiative.

“Olive trees are holy signs of peace, older than anyone”

In a mood of hope, solidarity and compassion, the WCC olive harvest initiative continued on Wednesday with a live-streamed public webinar, addressing cultural, socio-economic and spiritual aspects of the olive harvest season in the Holy Land, as well as highlighting the impact of the continuing military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

 

WCC leaders reiterate need for United States and Iran to step back from escalating conflict

In the aftermath of armed attacks by both the US and Iran, WCC reiterates its call for restraint and de-escalation of the confrontation.
“Further escalation and conflict between the United States and Iran can only serve short-term political interests, while threatening the permanent destruction of many lives, communities and precious cultural and environmental heritage,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “I appeal to political leaders on all sides of this confrontation to put the interests of the people of the region ahead of their own interests, and to seek peace through dialogue and negotiation rather than confrontation.”

Ecumenical prayer for peace in Syria

At the end of the second week of Advent, WCC staff gathered in the Chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva for a special midday prayer for peace in Syria and the Middle East led by Father Jack (Yaqoub) Mourad, head of the Syriac Catholic Monastery of Saint Elian in al-Qaryatayn.

Churches in southern Africa stand against violence, xenophobia

Churches across southern Africa are publicly saying #EnoughIsEnough,” with many denominations and congregations continuing to issue strong statements, arrange special prayer events, and speak out against rising levels of violence.

Both the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) have been discussing gender justice and how to keep the momentum going on the unprecedented public demand for change.