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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.

WCC fellowship prays for living together in peace

On the International Day of Living Together in Peace declared by the United Nations, members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) fellowship from countries troubled by war and conflict gathered to pray for sustainable peace in the world.

General consul of Bolivia visits WCC to strengthen collaborative work

On 29 April, general consul of Bolivia in Switzerland Efraín Chambi Copa visited the World Council of Churches (WCC), meeting with WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca and Rev. Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, interim deputy general secretary and director of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order.

Colombian human rights advocates engage in strategic talks in the US

In a recent visit to the United States, a group of four laureates of the National Human Rights Award in Colombia” engaged in meetings in Washington and New York City with government officials, diplomats, and United Nations (UN) representatives. They spoke of the deterioration of the peace process in the country and the importance of international solidarity.

WCC stands in solidarity with victims of major flood in Brazil

“In the midst of death and trauma caused by this terrible event, let us bring our intercessions together, praying that the God of Life will comfort the ones who lost their loved ones and give strength to those involved in the actions of solidarity with the victims,” said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches, as a torrential rainfall took the lives of over 100 people in Petrópolis, Brazil.

WCC celebrates life of Brazilian theologian and ecumenist Zwinglio Mota Dias

Zwinglio Mota Dias used to make jokes about problems with the spelling of his first name in Brazil and elsewhere. In Brazil because of the first half of it. Elsewhere because of the second. Born to a Presbyterian family, his parents wanted to name him as a tribute to the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century, Ulrich Zwingli.

In Argentina, “Serving a Wounded World” is a hopeful call to collaborate

Prof. Dr h.c. Humberto Martin Shikiya, vice president of the Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS) In Argentina, reflects on how Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19 and Beyond” is being received as a hopeful call to collaborate ecumenically and interreligiously. The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue jointly published Serving a Wounded World” to encourage churches and Christian organizations to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazilian ecumenical water network launched

An online event held on 22 July marked the launch of the Ecumenical Water Network Brazil, an initiative that intends to articulate several ecumenical organizations and interfaith voices with the purpose of raising awareness about the life cycle of water.

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.

Pulling together for a living River Pardo

Areas around the River Pardo in northeastern Brazil are home to more than one million people. Included in them are traditional communities such as the quilombolas (descendants of runaway African slaves), the geraizeiros and others. Each year they see less water in their river. “This is not solely due to the reduction in rainfall. 

Brazilian city joins “water diagram” initiative headed by Swiss Church Aid

The Brazilian municipality of Juiz de Fora has approved a cooperation agreement with Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER), a member of the WCCs Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN), thus becoming part of an international working group that wants to contribute to good water management and management practices using a water flow diagram. The project also encompasses the city of Bern, Switzerland; Cape Town, in South Africa, and Rio Pardo de Minas, in Brazil.

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.

Less COVID-19 cases, more “hope cases”

The Uruguayan Council of Christian Churches (CICU, by its Spanish acronym), the only ecumenical organization in the country, hosted an online gathering during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It took place last 26 May at 7:30pm (local time) via Zoom. I had the immense joy of participating as a Catholic communicator, currently serving as correspondent for SIGNIS ALC (Latin-American and Caribbean Association of Catholic Communication) and as vice president of SIGNIS Uruguay (the Uruguayan Association of Catholic Communicators).

In Colombia, “what is happening is terribly painful”

Rev. Gloria Ulloa, World Council of Churches president for Latin America and the Caribbean, is in Cali, Colombia, with a delegation of DiPaz, the country’s main ecumenical peacebuilding platform. The group is having direct grassroots contact with the conflicts currently taking place. Ulloa and others hope to bring to light testimonies of peoples and communities usually forgotten by the big media.

Below is Ulloa's latest description on the ground.