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In pictures: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Prayers for unity took on a different look and feel this year, but they weren’t stopped by widespread restrictions on face-to-face gatherings. From prayer cards to personal reflections, online gatherings to new connections, the images worldwide convey the spiritual richness of an ecumenical family that came together in prayer.

Young WCC commissioners contribute to Václav Havel exhibition in Rome

"The best thought is one that always leaves a certain crevice for the possibility that everything is totally different at the same time" - Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka, moderator of the World Council of Churches ECHOS Commission, cites this as her favorite quote from Václav Havel, opponent to Czechoslovak’s communist regime and later president of his country.

Markus Imhoof film receives human rights award

The movie Eldorado, in which filmmaker Markus Imhoof examines the European migrant crisis and contrasts it against his boyhood experience with a post-World War II Italian refugee, has received recognition from the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) and SIGNIS, a Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movement for professionals in the communication.

The film was awarded because it highlights universal values.

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.”

Save lives of boat refugees on “deadliest border in the world,” urges declaration

The Protestant Church in Germany and Palermo (Italy) Mayor Leoluca Orlando have issued a joint declaration calling for a European distribution mechanism for boat refugees.

Currently there is no Europe-wide distribution mechanism to accommodate refugees rescued in the Mediterranean in the European Union. The declaration calls for a political emergency solution this summer, and urges a group of European Union member states to act as a “coalition of the willing” and develop a sustainable migration policy.

Mediterranean Hope: “On land, at sea and In the skies…”

The Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) and others involved in support for migrants on land, at sea and in the skies are strengthening their collaboration.

The humanitarian corridors programme, an ecumenical project developed by the FCEI’s Mediterranean Hope team with the Comunità di Sant’Egidio in 2015 is now in its second phase.

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).

WCC general secretary expresses appreciation for local community’s help to refugees

In an address to the general assembly of Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy in Rome on 16 November, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed gratitude for those who help refugees and migrants. At the same time, Tveit mourned the nearly 2,000 people who have died or are missing while trying to make the journey to reach the Mediterranean in the first ten months of 2018.