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In wake of earthquake, WCC offers solidarity and prayers for Turkey, Greece

Upon news that a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea off the coasts of Turkey and Greece on 30 October, World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca called for prayers, and expressed solidarity with churches and responders who continue to help hundreds of injured and traumatized people.

Religions for Peace: Hagia Sophia meant to be shared with all the world

In a 24 July statement on Hagia Sophia, Religions for Peace reiterated its commitment to the universality of heritage as something that can create peace and respect for all faiths. “We call for calm, in times when we see the use of religious sentiments and institutions in a manner that is divisive, thus pitting some believers against one another,” reads the statement. “We stand on the side of peace, and of deliberate, intentional, coexistence, particularly as we hear of the voices, and see the actions, of divisiveness and hatred from many quarters.”

“Migrants are not missiles, they are people” says WCC general secretary in response to crisis at Greek-Turkish border

Following a deal reached between the European Union and Turkey in March 2016, Turkey has been taking measures to prevent migrants – many of them fleeing the conflict in Syria – from reaching the EU, in exchange for European aid for migrants and refugees, and for relaxation of EU visa requirements for Turkish citizens. On Friday 28 February, after military losses in north-west Syria – where Turkey has been trying to create a safe area to resettle millions of Syrian refugees and to serve Turkish interests against the Kurds – those measures were suspended, resulting in large numbers of people attempting to cross into Greece and consequent clashes with Greek security forces.

Working group of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism meets in Turkey

A special working group of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism met in Istanbul, Turkey this week to further explore the place and profile of transforming discipleship in the life and work of churches globally. During the meeting the group on “Transforming Discipleship” worked on a document drafting that could best depict the shape of discipleship in the light of the Arusha Call.

“Voice of Antioch" TV Channel celebrates inaugural broadcast

On 25 March, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, officially blessed and opened Suboro TV, which will offer religious, cultural and social programs that aim to fulfill the spiritual needs of Syriac people.

Forum on Modern Slavery: “Liberate them from tyranny and exploitation”

In an opening address at a Forum on Modern Slavery in Istanbul on 7 January, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke on “Awareness, Action and Impact.” After many centuries of progress and advancement, we still live in a world where injustice and slavery continue to thrive, and where human dignity is exchanged for the sole purpose of greed, gain, and profit, reflected Bartholomew.

Patriarch Kirill meets with Ecumenical Patriarch

His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, met with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on 31 August at the Phanar, home to the patriarchate in Istanbul, to discuss matters of inter-Orthodox concern.

Ecumenical Patriarch visits WCC

The Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, delivered a public address at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 24 April as part of his official visit to Switzerland on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch and the 50th anniversary of the Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: The Patriarch of Solidarity

He earned the title “Green Patriarch” as a religious leader addressing alarming environmental issues over at least two decades. In 2008, Time Magazine named His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as one of 100 Most Influential People in the World, for “defining environmentalism as spiritual responsibility”.

Facilitating peace with passion

Facilitating peace requires conviction, political independence and endurance. Add a whole lot of passion and native Cypriot Salpy Eskidjian fits perfectly into that job description. Since she started in 2011 as executive coordinator of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, which is operating under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden in Nicosia, she has tirelessly – and successfully – sought to engage religious leaders in a dialogue for peace.