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WCC extends condolences to Albanians in wake of earthquake

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, in a letter to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, extended condolences on behalf of the WCC fellowship upon news of the devastating earthquake that struck on 26 November.“I write to you with great sadness after receiving news of the strong earthquake that struck the country of Albania, and the ongoing news, as rescue operations continue, of the people who have perished and the many who have been injured,” reads the letter, which Tveit addressed to His Beatitude Anastasios Archbishop of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania.

Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue commission meets in Albania

Discussions between Lutheran and Orthodox theologians on the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church have identified areas of agreement, though they agreed considerable open questions and differences merit further discussion.

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.

WCC/UN conference calls for coordinated action on refugee crisis

Following the WCC/UN High Level Conference on the Refugee Crisis in Europe, which took place at the Ecumenical Centre Geneva on 18-19 January, a statement has been issued entitled "Europe’s Response to the Refuge Crisis, From Origin to Transit, Reception and Refuge, A Call for Shared Responsibility and Coordinated Action”.

Rebuilding a smashed church in Albania

In 1967, the Albanian government, under despotic leader Enver Hoxha, began closing down all religious institutions in the country, declaring Albania the world’s first officially atheist state.

Orthodox church in Albania resurrected

A compelling portrayal of the revival of the collective church in Albania is found in the voices of individuals such as Nathan Hoppe, who recalls arriving there in 1998.

Global Christian leaders concerned for persecuted Christians

An historic consultation of church leaders, drawn from 56 nations, to focus on intensifying "discrimination, persecution and violence" against Christian communities around the world has called on churches globally to pray, support and be in solidarity with those suffering persecution due to their faith.

Cardinal Kurt Koch tells WCC News: We have to deepen our solidarity

Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Roman Catholic Church, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has granted an interview to WCC News. The conversation took place at the Global Christian Forum in Tirana, Albania where 150 high level leaders and representatives of various church traditions from more than 60 countries gathered to listen and learn from one another and to stand in solidarity with churches and Christians experiencing discrimination and persecution in the world today.

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.

Ecumenical Patriarch reaffirms power of faith for social justice

Faith can be a powerful ally in addressing issues of social justice, said Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He called faith a bearer of unique perspectives on eradicating poverty, balancing amidst globalization, combating fundamentalism, racism, and developing religious tolerance during conflicts.

WCC general secretary expresses concern over Albania Census

The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed concern at the methodology and results of the Albania Census 2011. He has raised questions in regard to the reliability of the process which, he said, has implications for the rights of religious minorities and religious freedoms guaranteed in the country’s constitution.