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WCC renews call for release of archbishops of Aleppo

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca reiterated calls for the release of two Syrian archbishops, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi, who were kidnapped near Aleppo, Syria in April 2013.

COVID-19 in conflict zones: “a crisis within another crisis”

Damaris, a Nigerian woman, described her experience of 2020: “We’ve gone through hell.”

Damaris and her sisters were kidnapped in March 2020 and threatened with death as their kidnappers demanded money. Her father had to sell everything and beg on the streets to meet their demands. “We are just a common people in Nigeria,” she said. “We don’t know what we did.”

“Conflict Zones and Covid-19” webinar will offer a clarion call to compassion

A webinar hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 26 November will explore “Conflict Zones and Covid-19: A call to compassion.” Speakers from Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Lebanon, Belarus and Colombia will offer their insights on how conflict exacerbates the conditions for contracting and treating COVID-19 among civilians caught in the crossfire, especially women.

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

WCC leader reflects on antisemitism, definitions and future cooperation

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today”. This meeting took place at a time of significant challenges in public and religious life for many communities around the world. At the meeting Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the WCC policies on antisemitism and the WCC’s work for human rights for all. The WCC News met with him after the meeting.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud honored with International Religious Freedom Award

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, has received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State. The awards “honor extraordinary advocates of religious freedom from around the world” and will be presented on 17 July in Washington, D.C.

WCC statement reiterates call for just peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee, in a statement, reiterated its call for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. “That commitment is part of the fabric of our faith, and of the heritage of the ecumenical movement,” reads the statement. "We seek to express it by accompanying the churches, interfaith partners and communities of these lands in their witness and work for justice and for peace.”

Rabbis walk through Hebron in solidarity

It was a bright and sunny morning when Rabbis for Human Rights organized a solidarity walk on Tuesday through the Israeli administered H2 area of Hebron, where growing tension has forced the World Council of Churches (WCC) to temporarily suspend its presence of ecumenical accompaniers.

Fr Alexi - a peacemaker in Syria

WCC News met with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr Alexi Chehadeh, who leads the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East in Damascus, Syria. He is an impressive role model and peacemaker in Syria.