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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.

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.

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.

Communication is all about being heard and understood

In most medium- to large sized organizations, there is a communications function dealing with all kinds of “communication issues.” Usually, that comprises everything from producing a broad variety of presentation material and managing websites to writing stories, handling media relations and advising management teams. The tasks are challenging and often stressful. Professionalism and integrity are key.

Systematically challenged to mutual love

This year, I received as a gift the book “My Ecumenical Journey” by the founder of the Focolare Movement Chiara Lubich (1920-2008). The compilation of reflections about ecumenism are accompanying my morning meditation before I start to work.
One year ago, I joined the communication department of the World Council of Churches, a membership organization that works for unity between churches from different Christian denominations.

Peace, the mother of love

“Peace especially attracts the Spirit of God, for peace is the mother of love and the hallmark of sanctity.” So said Alcuin of York. Although he lived and died over 1,200 years ago he remains one of the greatest Christian scholars this country has ever produced, and even though he is not so well remembered today, his influence upon the church in Europe was profound and long-lasting.

Are we our sisters' keepers? When it comes to atom bombs the world is saying 'yes'

On his visit to Japan last November, Pope Francis defined nuclear weapons as a “crime”. Two crimes, actually, folded into one. He named “the dignity of human beings” and “any possible future for our common home”. The pope added a critical qualifier in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The crime is committed not only by using nuclear weapons; it is also committed by having nuclear weapons.

Practicing the interfaith discipline of hope

Last September I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time as part of my sabbatical year. How does one encounter these two places that are such containers of pain, suffering and for me, as an American, complicity? To be a tourist feels wrong and I ended up contemplating the World Council of Churches (WCC) model of pilgrimages of justice and peace as a way to be in a space of suffering, and as a way to practice accompaniment, commitment and perhaps even hopefulness.