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WCC makes urgent call for “lasting peace founded on justice and human rights” for people of Nagorno-Karabakh

The WCC executive committee issued a statement calling for calm and wisdom following six weeks of intense fighting for Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, suspended by an agreement announced between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. Welcoming an end to the bloodshed and destruction, the executive committee appealed for “a lasting peace founded on justice and human rights for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the wider region.”

WCC gravely concerned by escalation of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region

World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed grave concern over the renewed and very serious escalation of conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region since Sunday 27 September – reportedly following an attack by Azerbaijan’s military forces – which has already resulted in dozens of casualties including civilians, and which risks provoking a wider armed conflict in the region.

WCC well-represented in Religions for Peace leadership

Religions for Peace is the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition, and as in other multi-faith groups, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its ecumenical family figure strongly in its leadership bodies.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud honored with International Religious Freedom Award

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, has received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State. The awards “honor extraordinary advocates of religious freedom from around the world” and will be presented on 17 July in Washington, D.C.

Creating a better future for Syrian-Armenian youth

On 20 March the unique program aiming to empower Syrian-Armenian youth who escaped the ongoing conflict in Syria and settled in Armenia was launched in Yerevan. Through training, capacity building and joint activities, the project aims to deepen the relations between Syrian and local Armenian youth.

WCC and ecumenical community offer prayers for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh

Prayers for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas of Armenia and Azerbaijan were offered on 4 April in the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. Joining in the Geneva service of common prayer were staff from ecumenical and other international organizations including the WCC and the LWF.

Common prayer in Geneva responds to acts of violence

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 was to have been the principal focus of the service of Sunday morning prayer on 15 November in the cathedral church of Saint-Pierre at the summit of Geneva’s old town. Following terror attacks in Beirut and Paris killing and wounding hundreds of civilians over the preceding days, the prayers of the Protestant Church of Geneva and the WCC Executive Committee took on a new dimension.

WCC Executive Committee speaks out on migrant crises

Deeply concerned for migrants in many regions, especially those “driven to undertake journeys of desperate risk and danger”, the WCC Executive Committee has declared: “All members of the international community have a moral and legal duty to save the lives of those in jeopardy at sea or in transit, regardless of their origin and status.”

WCC Executive Committee releases statement on Armenian genocide

“Denial, impunity and the failure to remember such events encourage their repetition.” This warning was issued by the WCC Executive Committee in a public issues statement on the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century. Meeting in Armenia at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the 20-member committee paid its respects to this year’s commemoration of the tragedy.

Armenian genocide of 1915 commemorated by WCC Executive Committee

“The member churches of the World Council of Churches have pledged themselves to stand against all genocides, wherever they happen,” said the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the council (WCC), on the morning of 10 June after a solemn service of remembrance at the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum overlooking the capital city of Yerevan. The service took place in the context of the one-hundredth anniversary of an era of great suffering following mass arrests, executions and deportation of Armenians beginning on 24 April 1915.

Exhibition in Geneva raises awareness of Armenian genocide

The WCC and the Armenian Apostolic Church are hosting a one-month exhibition on the Armenian genocide, displaying information on the history of genocidal events in the Ottoman Empire which killed more than a million Christian Armenians between 1915 and 1923.