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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.

Churches in Nigeria promote rights of women with disabilities

“The church has lots of roles in removing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from living a fulfilled life. All are created in the image of God and have equal rights. Sexual and reproductive health is one such right that should not be denied to any woman,” said Rev. Evans Onyemara, general secretary of the Christian Council of Nigeria during a training on empowering women with disabilities on sexual and reproductive health care held at Umuahia, Nigeria from 9-11 March.

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).

Regional forum in Nigeria centers on banning nuclear weapons

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, together with its campaigners in West Africa, held a regional forum for members of the Economic Community of West African States as well as civil society organisations in Abuja, Nigeira from15-16 August.

“Empower our pilgrimage through love”

On 6 November, Rev. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Baptist Convention, offered a morning prayer about “Empowering Our Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace through Love" during the WCC Executive Committee meeting in Uppsala, Sweden.

Rev. Dr Shanta Premawardhana: ‘Seeds of peace come from the ground’

“The seeds of peace come from the ground.” That is the vision that Rev. Dr Shanta Premawardhana, former director of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches and now president of OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership, tries to follow with his organization.

Paving the way for ecumenical studies, learning English in Bossey

Each year students from all over the world arrive at Bossey near Geneva for a three-month language training course to pave their way for ecumenical studies that follow on straight after. “The title captures the goal of the course,” says Father Lawrence Iwuamadi, the Nigerian priest who studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is academic dean of the Ecumenical Institute.

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.

Church of the Lord in Nigeria called women to pastoral work from its founding

The primate of The Church of the Lord, Aladura, Worldwide, an African initiated church founded in 1925 talks with pride about how the founder had a calling from God to have women serving with men in pastoral work. Primate Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiolaolu Ositelu, metropolitan archbishop of the church visited Geneva and the WCC on 29-30 January.

In Nigeria, Thursdays in Black is flourishing

Rev. Ikechukwu Anaga remembers when people didn’t know about “Thursdays in Black,” the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. But his community of Aba, in Abia State, Nigeria, was seeing firsthand an increase in gender-based violence and rape. When Anaga helped others in his community make a firm decision to do something about it, the zeal and passion for Thursdays in Black rose.

Walking together against hatred and violence

When more than 100 religious leaders and other actors from around the world gathered at the UN in Vienna in mid-February, it was a manifestation of unity between religious and non-religious organizations, and a genuine commitment to cooperate in dealing with hate speech and incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes.

In Nigeria, WCC workshops focus on human rights

In many ways, the World Council of Churches (WCC) pilgrimage of justice and peace hinges on protecting, advocating, and educating people about human rights. In Nigeria, a series of workshops in November promoted human rights across a number of WCC programme areas, including the Churches’ Commitments to Children, preventing gender-based violence, and engaging with the United Nations human rights system.

Women’s fellowship conference in Nigeria to highlight “Thursdays in Black”

The Methodist Church of Nigeria (Diocese of Umuahia) Women’s Fellowship has invited Jessie Fubara-Manuel, an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria who also collaborates with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA), to deliver the keynote address at the opening of its 42nd conference.

Nigeria gathering inspires courage among women with disabilities

“Before being identified as a person with disability, you are a woman with the same rights,” said Hellen Anurika Udoye Beyioku-Alase, a young woman with a disability. She was among some 70 women who gathered at the Swiss International Hotel in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 22-23 June around the theme “Women with Disabilities, Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV.”