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Fr Jamal Khader: “We need to keep hope alive” in Palestine

It is easy to feel despair of the unjust situation for the Palestinians, who are experiencing daily humiliation, annexation of land, growing settlements, land grabbing and poverty. This year Palestine has been illegally occupied for 53 years. But there are also many people in Palestine cultivating hope, faith and love for transforming the situation.

Rev. Jamil Khadir: “Without faith, there is no real hope” in Palestine

Illegal occupation of Palestinian lands has been ongoing for 53 years, imposing deep injustices on the daily life of local communities. In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, many Palestinians know what it can be like to live with settlements close by, not least in the villages around the city, where Palestinian landowners regularly face settler abuse. Yet there are many in the area who persist, in working hard on a daily basis to foster peace and justice. Below, Rev. Jamil Khadir reflects on what this means for him as a local pastor in Nablus.

As repeat hurricanes threaten, churches offer vital services in Nicaragua, Honduras

Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck, Nicaragua and Honduras are now bracing for another massive storm, Hurricane Iota. Eta killed at least 120 people in flash floods and mudslides. By 15 November, ahead of Iota’s landfall, some 63,500 people had been evacuated in northern Honduras, and 1,500 people in Nicaragua had been moved from low-lying areas of the country's northeast. Carlos Rauda, a regional officer with ACT Alliance, offers a glimpse of this unfolding situation, and the important role of churches.

At Effata school in Togo, students transform attitudes about gender-based violence

Through four years of collaboration with the Effata Secular School in Togo, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme has introduced students and teachers to Thursdays in Black, towards a world without rape and violence, helped them better respond to HIV, and offered a safe space to discuss responsible sexual and reproductive health.

In Palestine, “God honored this olive tree”

“Just as you cannot live without water, olive oil is the same for us—and the olive tree is our life,” explains a smiling Abu-Issa under an awe-inspiring 13-meter olive tree. Its umbrella of branches extends over the al-Walaja hills, just north of Bethlehem.

Driven by God’s grace and a sense of duty

When Rev. Dr Antje Jackelén became its first female archbishop in 2014, a major milestone was reached in the history of the Church of Sweden. It took 850 years and 69 male predecessors to get there. Jackelén also happens to be the first immigrant, at least in modern times, to occupy the highest chair of her church. That, however, she regards as a coincidence of lesser significance. For her, as a devoted Christian, the baptism matters more than the passport.   

For International Orthodox Christian Charities, global partners build “information sharing, collaboration, and funding”

The World Council of Churches is publishing a series of interviews that portray insights and reflections from the leaders of faith-based global and regional humanitarian and development organizations. Constantine Triantafilou is executive director and CEO of International Orthodox Christian Charities, which offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.

On World Mental Health Day, “expect your colorful life”

In honor of World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, Hanbeet Rhee, a member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea and a member of the World Council of Churches ECHOS Commission on Youth, shared her personal encouragement and testimony about the importance of caring for one’s mental health

Where is God in these times?

In a time of a global pandemic that has killed almost 200,000 Americans, civil unrest in the streets, and an economy in tatters, I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my thoughts with you during this unique time in history. I decided to contribute to this blog in the form of a personal letter to each of you.