World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed great sorrow on hearing the news of the loss of many lives caused by the disaster at the Lag B'Omer festival in Israel.
Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land received the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award on 24 September from the Roman Catholic Church for his interreligious peace-building efforts.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today”. This meeting took place at a time of significant challenges in public and religious life for many communities around the world. At the meeting Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the WCC policies on antisemitism and the WCC’s work for human rights for all. The WCC News met with him after the meeting.
It was a bright and sunny morning when Rabbis for Human Rights organized a solidarity walk on Tuesday through the Israeli administered H2 area of Hebron, where growing tension has forced the World Council of Churches (WCC) to temporarily suspend its presence of ecumenical accompaniers.
Respect for the other lies at the heart of peace education and was a key thread through a debate entitled “Education for Peace in a multi-religious world”. It was held on the 2018 World Human Rights Day at the United Nations Office in Geneva.
As students gathered at the WCC Ecumenical Institute at Bossey for an interreligious summer school, they reflected on what brought them to the institute, and what knowledge and insights they will take home.
In a highly unusual action, the leaders of Jerusalem’s churches closed the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday. The united protest was in response to moves by Jerusalem authorities to begin collecting tens of millions of dollars in taxes from churches, as well as proposed legislation to confiscate church-owned land.
In the old city of Acre, which is located by the Mediterranean sea in northern Israel, almost all Palestinian families are displaced. Poverty, discrimination and lack of motivation for education are some of the daily obstacles people face.
An international conference held at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Nikos Kotzias, has gathered around 70 prominent religious, political and academic figures in Athens, Greece, this week.
The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed deep concern over the renewed wave of violence in Jerusalem. In a letter to WCC member churches in Palestine and Israel, he expressed solidarity with the churches and peoples of the land, and affirmed WCC’s commitment to justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.
To achieve just peace in the Middle East, “it is very adequate to focus on what would maintain and reinforce the cultural and religious diversity that has distinguished this region for long centuries,” said the WCC general secretary.
Amidst the reality of tensions often fueled by religions, a group of Christian, Muslim and Jewish youth has formed a multi-faith community. As part of an interfaith summer course sponsored by the WCC, this community wants to work for the protection of creation – a concern they say is common to all faith traditions.
High officials from ancient Christian churches in the Near East have issued a common statement denouncing the emergence of armed extremist groups who “murder, shatter and violate the sacred nature of the churches” and other suffering communities in the Middle East.
Young people of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths have created a unique community during a summer course at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey. Together they seek to break religious stereotypes, promote mutual respect and enhance their understanding of religions beyond the conflict paradigm.
A WCC conference has issued a joint statement calling the churches and ecumenical actors to commit themselves to support one another in prayers and actions to support Christian presence and witness in the Middle East.