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Colombian delegation calls upon international community to revive “vital support”

As a group of three laureates of the “National Human Rights Award in Colombia” engaged in meetings with diplomats and United Nations representatives in Geneva, a tray lunch event was organized on 8 June at the Ecumenical Centre by the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance to offer the delegation the opportunity to share about the deterioration of the peace process in the country and the importance of international solidarity.

DiPaz urges stronger international call for Colombian government to advance peace

In a 13 July letter to the United Nations Security Council, the Diálogo Intereclesial por la Paz en Colombia (DiPaz), an interchurch platform for dialogue for peace in Colombia, called on the international community to urge the Colombian government to resume the full implementation of the peace agreement and strengthen channels of dialogue to resolve societal issues.

Hoping against hope

The same week Brazil reached half a million deaths by COVID-19, my parents got the first dose of the vaccine. On my way to work, I pass through a vaccination post full of people, and through a cemetery full of grief. The past year and few months were a mix of fear, indignation and anger for me. But also a time where I saw generosity and hope bloom.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

Week of Prayer brings fruits of the Spirit despite COVID-19

Prayer is a powerful way to be united as Christians from all over the world. Every year my church community in Cuba joins the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with daily devotions and a special worship service, usually on Sundays. Being connected in the same prayerful spirit around a common text that turns into so many testimonies of faith is truly a gift of the Spirit and an ecumenical commitment.

An exercise in hoping

I’m writing this text exactly one year after Brazil declared quarantine, on 16 March. Last year we went into quarantine thinking it would only be two weeks at home, and maybe a few months of wearing masks and sanitizing our hands. I’m the first to confess that I’ve underestimated the virus. However, we all know that is not how it went. Month after month went by - the internet joked about how could it possibly be August already, when last week was March?

The COVID-19 pandemic and community life: reflections and challenges

The Greek word Koinonia, which Paul especially uses in the New Testament, translates as community, communion, union, fellowship, participation, among other meanings. The term "solidarity" expresses the meaning of Koinonia. The community based on solidarity seeks peace, justice, well-being, the Shalom of the people. The word "coexistence" can also be equivalent of Koinonia, because it means to live in unity for several generations under the same roof or house. The "coexistence" leads us to take care of the integrity of creation, to recognize that we are not the only inhabitants of this house.

Brazilian churches call for transformative racial justice

The brutal killing of Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas, 40, a black man, at the hands of two white security guards outside a supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 19 November, the eve of National Black Consciousness Day, has sparked outrage across the country. World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches raised their voices to condemn the killing and to express deep concern regarding systemic racial injustice in Brazil.

Larissa Aguiar Garcia: "We're opening a safe space”

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Larissa Aguiar Garcia, from Igreja Medista do Brasil, is a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS Commission for young people.

WCC expresses concern about Colombia’s peace process in light of recent killings of Micoahumado community leaders

“We express our deepest concern with regard to the search for peace in Colombia, and we call upon the Colombian government and all armed actors to refrain from targeting social leaders and communities in conflict zones”, said Rev. Frank Chikane, moderator of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), in light of the recent killings of social leaders in Micoahumado, South Bolivar, and elsewhere around the country.

WCC Eco-School encourages youth to become eco-ambassadors

“Hunger amidst plenty is the great contradiction of our time”, said Dr Ángel Ibarra, vice-minister of environment and natural resources of El Salvador, as he addressed participants of the World Council of Churches (WCC) “Eco-School on Water, Food and Climate Justice”, being held in San Salvador, 1-12 November.

New students welcomed at WCC Bossey Ecumenical Institute

“Congratulations for being a student at Bossey!” Fr Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, director of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey and deputy general secretary, welcomed the students for the new academic year 2018-2019. Thirty-one students from diverse countries and traditions will start their classes at the ecumenical institute on Tuesday.

WCC releases message after visit to Nicaragua in midst of political crisis

“We have sought to support dialogue as a means to resolve differences, and to reaffirm and strengthen calls for justice, peace and respect for diverse ways of thinking in contemporary societies”, reads a message issued by the members of an ecumenical delegation organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) that visited Nicaragua on 28-29 August.

Diakonia: “a tool to reach abundance of life”

“Christ’s call for abundant life (John 10:10) means that the church must work to address the enormity of challenges, including access to water resources, care for creation, and adequate health care,” said Rev. Matthew Ross during a World Council of Churches (WCC) seminar on young people’s involvement in “Ecumenical Diakonia and Sustainable Development,” held in Matanzas, Cuba, July 15-20.