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Young Africans are eager to grapple with challenges

Young African clergy, theologians and laypersons are eager to engage with the challenging issues facing their continent and the world. This became clear in a recent essay competition for authors below 35 years by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in partnership with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

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.

“Love will find a way”

World Council of Churches leaders spoke on the theme “Hospitality: On a Pilgrim’s Way of Justice and Peace" at a symposium on 23 August at the Protestant Theological University Amsterdam.

Rev. Frank Chikane: Working together to heal wounds of conflict

‘Walking, praying and working together’ was the theme of Pope Francis’ 21 June visit to Geneva to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Among those listening to the Pope's words was Pentecostal pastor Rev. Frank Chikane, one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Ideas and advocacy of Brigalia Bam still vibrant today

Most South Africans know of Brigalia Bam as chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), where she served from 1999 to 2011. Previously secretary general of the South African Council of Churches, and already an IEC commissioner, she was chosen by then-President Nelson Mandela from the list of parliamentary nominees for this critical role. In a country that had recently been on the brink of racial civil war, she guided South Africans with humour, tolerance and impartiality along the path of inclusive democracy.

Moderator rallies WCC for peacebuilding and empowerment

“Where is God?” Evoking the desperate cry of a South Sudanese girl stranded in a refugee camp far from home, WCC moderator Dr Agnes Abuom opened the Central Committee’s biennial meeting on 15 June with a stirring yet clear-eyed cry for deeper engagement by the WCC and its member churches to counter the world’s most intractable problems through nurturing hope and empowerment.

#WCC70: Churches as “freedom agents”

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. In order to create a lively firsthand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, member churches have contributed stories of people, events, achievements and even failures, all of which have deepened our collective search for Christian unity. This story was written by Olle Eriksson, a Namibian who worked for 35 years (1968 – 2003) with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission and Lutheran World Federation.

Konrad Raiser shares ecumenical journey of transformation

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser has been on an ecumenical journey for most of his adult life, which spans 80 years. The former WCC general secretary relates some of this pilgrimage in his newest publication, “The Challenge of Transformation: An Ecumenical Journey.” On 5 February, shortly after Raiser’s birthday, ecumenical experts from different generations, confessions and continents met in Geneva to discuss the newest publication by the man who led the WCC from 1993 to 2003.

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.