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Borders and Migrants

On 20 May 2022, a group of us, 14 pilgrims from different parts of the world (Kenya, Brussels, Germany, Hong Kong, Philippines, Poland, Rome, Korea, Canada, Fiji, Australia, London, Scotland, and Geneva—a very diverse group) gathered in Palermo, Italy for a Pilgrim Team Visit on the theme of migration. 

WCC Pilgrim Team Visits accompany communities in Italy, Armenia, Norway

Three World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrim Team Visits, one to Italy, a second to Armenia and a third to Norway, are continuing the WCCs accompaniment for communities in their quest for justice and peace under the theme of Christs love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” through the lenses of post-war trauma healing, gender justice, and migration.

WCC visit to Italy harvests examples of the churches’ unconditional support to refugees and migrants

The Central Mediterranean route is the overseas crossing from North Africa to Italy. Those migrating on this route generally aim to reach Italian shores but leave from a variety of North African countries bordering the Mediterranean. Though in past years most migrants have departed from Libya, which is a destination for migrants as well as a transit country, there is also a proportionally small but growing number of departures from Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.

Pope Francis expresses “fraternal closeness” with Waldensian Methodist

As the Waldensian Methodist Synod met in Torre Pelisse in the north of Italy, the assembled delegates received a letter from Pope Francis, who expressed warm greetings.

“I pray for each of you that you may experience the Holy Spirit in these days of encounter, prayer and reflection,” wrote Pope Francis. “Please allow me to join in your prayer that the Lord would deepen the ecumenical spirit among Christians and lead our churches into a growing communion with each other.”

All pilgrim routes lead to COP24

Pilgrims coming from Germany, Italy and Norway ended their journeys for climate justice on 7 December upon arrival at the St Stephen’s Church in Katowice, Poland, where the United Nations (UN) climate conference is underway. They were warmly welcomed by the delegations of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) that are attending the 24th Conference of Parties of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

Tveit: “What does mutual accountability mean?”

As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Centro Pro Unione, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke on 15 November in Rome about “What Does Mutual Accountability Mean for Christians and the Christian Life?”

Message from the global conference against xenophobia: human beings are equal in dignity

Participants at the conference “Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration” released a message on 19 September that affirms and upholds the institution of asylum for those fleeing from war, persecution or natural disaster, and invokes respect for the rights for all people on the move.

The conference, held in Rome, was organized jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Religious leaders of many faiths talk peace in Assisi

Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders met this week in Assisi to discuss peace, while across the ocean in New York City global political leaders assembled at the United Nations also focussed on a troubled world.

Climate pilgrimage toward COP21 pauses in Geneva

"In COP21 we decide whether the glass is half full or half empty, but the glass must be transparent", tweeted climate activist Yeb Saño at the end of a day full of activities engaging leadership and staff members of the WCC, the Lutheran World Federation and ACT Alliance, at the Ecumenical Centre, in Geneva, Switzerland.

European churches encouraged to work together to address refugee crisis

In view of the current refugee crisis, European churches are being encouraged to deepen their efforts in receiving, supporting and protecting refugees who arrive in the region. This call was made in a letter issued jointly by the WCC, the Conference of European Churches and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe.

WCC urges responsibility for and support to the refugees in Europe

In the wake of recent crisis with the refugees in Europe, it is “absolutely and critically necessary that all European states take their proper responsibility in terms of reception and support for people seeking refuge, safety and a better future for themselves and their families. This cannot be left only to the states where they enter first,” says the WCC general secretary.