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WCC acting general secretary visited WCC member Churches in Iran and had dialogue with other religious leaders

Church leaders in Iran warmly welcomed WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca and the WCC delegation: Prof. Dr Simone Sinn, dean of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute and Dr Abraham Silo Wilar, programme executive for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, during their visit to the country in the first week of March. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Diocese of Teheran, met them at the premises of the Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran with members of his church.

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.

WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca visits Middle East Council of Churches

Middle East Council of Churches secretary general Dr Michel Abs welcomed World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Rev Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca on 14 December at the headquarters of the Middle East Council of Churches General Secretariat in Beirut. The president of the National Evangelical Union in Lebanon and president of the Council for the Evangelical Family, H.E. Rev. Dr Habib Badr, as well the General Secretariat team in Beirut, also received Sauca.

In Lebanon, “without peace there is no justice”

When Dr Michel Abs, secretary general of the Middle East Council of Churches, speaks about living conditions in Lebanon, his compassion for his people—and his passion for peace—brim over. In a video interview with the World Council of Churches, he honestly shared his deepest concerns about the current socio-economic crisis in his nation, and how churches are helping.

Hope prevails in times of crisis in Lebanon

The fatal blast in Beirut last month became yet another blow to an already plagued country. In recent months, a financial crisis with a free-falling currency and rising unemployment has further undermined the Lebanese economy. Add to that one million Syrian refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contours of a fragile nation facing monumental challenges emerge.

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.”

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.

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem releases statement on Jaffa Gate

On 5 August, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem released a statement in relation to the properties of Jaffa Gate. “The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem views the attempts of the radical organization, Ateret Cohanim, to seize church properties located in Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate and al-Mu'athamiyah, as a strike to the indigenous Christian presence in the Holy City,” the statement reads.

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.