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In Fiji, mindset is changing amid work to prevent violence against women

Thursdays in Black grew out of women’s movements of resilience and resistance to injustice, abuse and violence. In the Pacific region, which has some of the highest recorded rates of violence against women, churches are leading conversations to change attitudes and actions. Domestic violence is prevalent throughout Fiji. According to UN Women’s Global Database on Violence against Women, almost 2 out of 3 women aged 18-64 in Fiji have experienced physical or sexual violence from their intimate partner – almost twice the global average.

Papuan religious leaders urge justice as an end to racism

In a statement to the president of the Republic of Indonesia, Papuan religious leaders are urging justice for seven defendants on trial in the Balikpapan - East Kalimantan District Court who held a demonstration because they were rejecting racist treatment. “But the indictments and charges at the trial were very different from the data and facts in the field,” reads the statement. “They are victims of racism but they have been accused of treason.”

Pacific Conference of Churches on “the new normal”

In a 5 May message entitled “The Story of our Pacific Household in the ‘New Normal,’ ” the Pacific Conference of Churches acknowledges those risking their lives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

WCC postpones seminar on transformative masculinity and femininity in Tonga

Taking into consideration the growing global concerns and implications of the current spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the World Council of Churches (WCC) will postpone its annual Ecumenical Continuing Formation on Youth seminar in the Pacific to the end of the year 2020, with a date to be announced. The event was scheduled for June 2020 in Tonga.
The WCC is taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including cancelling or postponing certain meetings and limiting travels.

Islands of hope: Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace focuses on Pacific region

“The Pacific Conference of Churches welcomes you on board our ecumenical canoe, as we sail and voyage together beyond the fringing reefs and rocks of the many issues that affect us here in the Pacific and globally, and set sail with our eyes firmly fixed on the island of hope,” said Rev. Dr James Bhagwan, Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary as he welcomed participants of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace to Fiji, on 20 January.

Young people play key role during papal visit

A young Samoan Methodist who had a role in the prayer service with Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva says it is significant that young people were chosen to read prayers and messages.

In Fiji, “time to go beyond the reef”

At a Welcome Service on 13 August for the 2017 Annual Conference at the Centenary Methodist Church in Suva, Fiji, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit offered a sermon that reflected on what it means, spiritually and ecologically, to exist in deep water.

Hopes shared in Tonga, where dawn starts first

“You are the first. You are the first among all the member churches of the World Council of Churches around the world to greet the dawn of every new day and to praise God,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a sermon delivered 6 August at the Centenary Chapel of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in Nuku’alofa.

Momentum builds for ban on nuclear weapons

After a concerted examination of the evidence presented at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and two earlier conferences, 44 of the states present called for a ban on nuclear weapons. The host government Austria added momentum with a specific, cooperative pledge to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition of nuclear weapons” and eliminate them.

Churches commemorate Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been globally celebrated this year with prayers, reflections, ecumenical services and events focusing on Paul’s question in Corinthians 1 “Has Christ been divided?” a theme for this year’s prayer materials, prepared by the Canadian churches.