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In a COVID-stricken world, “everyone is important”

A webinar held 22 October gave space for persons with disabilities to share their reflections. Entitled “From Lamentation to Transformation,” the event, first in a series of webinars on COVID-19 perspectives, highlighted hope through stories, practical support, and social change as experienced by persons with disabilities.

Ecumenical partners in Africa celebrate women’s achievements

Ecumenical partners in Africa convened by All Africa Conference of Churches, World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative and Advocacy, Christian Aid, and Side by Side gathered in Nairobi on World Prayer day 2020 to celebrate the achievements of women in Africa as well as to recognise men as allies. The gathering also observed the International Women’s Day under the theme #EachforEqual.

The cry of the Papuans in Indonesia

The World Council of Churches (WCC) continues to amplify the voice of the indigenous Papuans in Indonesia, who are oppressed by racism and discrimination.

Concerned about the escalating crisis of violence, racism and discrimination against indigenous Papuans in Indonesia, a side event co-sponsored by the WCC was convened during a fall session of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss patterns that are oppressing and displacing Papuans.

Mission and people with disabilities

How much is the mission of the church related to people with disabilities? These days we talk a lot about inclusive societies and churches. But, have we arrived there? Are our societies and churches taking seriously the problems and challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis? People with disabilities find themselves quite often at the margins of the societies and even of the churches.

Fr Alexi - a peacemaker in Syria

WCC News met with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr Alexi Chehadeh, who leads the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East in Damascus, Syria. He is an impressive role model and peacemaker in Syria.

#WCC70: Children in the Ecumenical Movement

Many ecumenical pioneers, including former WCC general secretary Philip Potter, were in a sense a product of the Sunday School movement. Ulrich Becker tells a story that seems to be in danger of being forgotten.

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

Kenya gathering focuses on including persons with disabilities in development

Fifty church development practitioners and leaders as well as organisations for persons with disabilities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda met in Nairobi, Kenya from 9-13 October to share their experiences on disability inclusion in church development programmes and to explore strategies to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting was organised by WCC Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network Project on Disability Inclusion in Development.

East African communities discuss disability, theology

Twenty church leaders from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania met in Arusha, Tanzania from 7-11 November to discuss deepening inclusion, participation and active involvement of persons with disabilities in the spiritual, social, economic and structural life of the church and society. The forum was organized by the WCC Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network and hosted by the Council of Churches in Tanzania.

Sam Kabue: from the village to the world with eyes wide open

Dr Samuel Kabue, an ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, has been the person behind the solid work of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network over the past years. On 6 October, he was interviewed by WCC communications, in Geneva, and talked about his memoirs, “From the Village to the World”, the importance of inclusiveness and the loud prophetic voice of the minorities in church and society.

Humanitarian Partnership Conference focuses on inclusive practices

Including persons with disabilities and the aged in humanitarian practices was the theme for the 4th annual International Humanitarian Partnership Conference in Nairobi on 21-22 September. More than 140 humanitarian practitioners, academicians and advocates met for the conference, organized by the Inter Agency Working Group on Disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa (IAWG). The theme was “Disability and Age Inclusion in Humanitarian Practice: Scaling up inclusive practices toward the achievement of Agenda 2030.”

"I hit the ground running": Katalina Tahaafe-Williams

Two major crises have marked the months since the WCC called Katalina Tahaafe-Williams to work in Geneva on its migration, indigenous, and multicultural ministry programmes. When she took up the job in October, the European refugee crisis was in full flow. Then in November, terrorists attacked Paris.