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Rev. Shin Seung-min: “We want to create hope, not despair”

Rev. Shin Seung-min, programme executive of the National Council of Churches in Korea, firmly believes that Christians live by the power of prayer. As he looks back at one of the largest global prayer campaigns in which he’s ever been involved, he sees that the year 2020 brought forth the power of prayer in unprecedented ways, even amid a year that brought grave suffering to the world.

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung: “Prayer is a radical action”

Recently the World Council of Churches (WCC) published “The Light of Peace: Churches in Solidarity with the Korean Peninsula.” The article below is linked to the questions in Chapter 15 in the book, a chapter that highlights the road ahead for peace and reconciliation on the peninsula. In this interview, Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, president of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, reflects and shares his deep wisdom, and emphasizes the importance of working for peace and justice.

“Coventry Cathedral continues to speak a word of hope to the world”

The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth is Bishop of Coventry, the senior leader of the Church of England in Coventry and Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. On 14 November 2020, Bishop Cocksworth, along with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as well as more than 30 other bishops, issued a statement welcoming the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and calling on the UK Government to join it. The statement coincided with the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry and destruction of its cathedral.

Palestinian Christian peace worker yearns for courageous leaders

As the WCC olive harvest initiative in 2020 drew to a close in early December, WCC News met with Nora Carmi, a Christian Palestinian who has worked for peace and justice her whole life, to hear her perspective on the situation in the holy land today, and the role of faith in sustaining hope.

Uncomfortable conversations? Create a safe space

Almost three years ago I was inspired by my then best friend—and now husband—to join the Thursdays in Black campaign. Hearing about how the movement was working towards a world without rape and violence, I quickly jumped on board as I had witnessed violence so close to home and sometimes in my home growing up.

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

A hopeful, but not optimistic Palestinian ecumenist

With olive harvest season coming to an end, life under occupation returns to “normal” for Palestinian communities on the West Bank. Under that “normal,” which means forced displacements and constant fear of threats and harassments, now also looms a threatening Israeli annexation of large chunks of fertile land owned by Palestinian farmers – a move which would “undermine peace and justice and be in direct violation of international law,” according to a joint ecumenical statement by the WCC and other ecumenical organizations earlier this year.  

As olive harvest draws to a close, who is helping the farmers?

Olive farming should be a peaceful activity, but for many Palestinian farmers the harvest season is a time of tension, violent attacks, and destruction of precious olive trees. Farmers in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territories face a barrage of such threats from nearby Israeli settlers.

Cameroon conference on peace empowers religious leaders

A two-day conference in Buea, Cameroon, has empowered religious leaders to offer vital input into a peace plan in the divided nation. Rev. Samuel Fonki Forba, president of the Council of Protestant Churches in Cameroon, said that the conference helped religious leaders build their capacity in the area of peace.

Fr Jamal Khader: “We need to keep hope alive” in Palestine

It is easy to feel despair of the unjust situation for the Palestinians, who are experiencing daily humiliation, annexation of land, growing settlements, land grabbing and poverty. This year Palestine has been illegally occupied for 53 years. But there are also many people in Palestine cultivating hope, faith and love for transforming the situation.

Rev. Jamil Khadir: “Without faith, there is no real hope” in Palestine

Illegal occupation of Palestinian lands has been ongoing for 53 years, imposing deep injustices on the daily life of local communities. In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, many Palestinians know what it can be like to live with settlements close by, not least in the villages around the city, where Palestinian landowners regularly face settler abuse. Yet there are many in the area who persist, in working hard on a daily basis to foster peace and justice. Below, Rev. Jamil Khadir reflects on what this means for him as a local pastor in Nablus.