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Borders and Migrants

On 20 May 2022, a group of us, 14 pilgrims from different parts of the world (Kenya, Brussels, Germany, Hong Kong, Philippines, Poland, Rome, Korea, Canada, Fiji, Australia, London, Scotland, and Geneva—a very diverse group) gathered in Palermo, Italy for a Pilgrim Team Visit on the theme of migration. 

Economic and fiscal challenges from COVID-19

The aftermath of the pandemic will present enormous long-term political, social and economic challenges. After the pandemic has subsided, there will be an enormous financial cost to be calculated – especially in terms of increased government debt for almost every country. In particular, there is a very real risk that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will not be met. As Christians, we cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for inaction and the preferential option for the poor must be recognised.

Martha and Maria Orthodox Christian Sisterhoods. Princess Alice of Greece and her unknown sisterhood

With the death and burial of Prince Philipp, Duke of Edinburgh, and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, of the English and the British Commonwealth throne, a kind of Orthodox Christian witness came into the fore, in the form of Christian Brotherhoods, quite unknown to Greece and the entire Orthodox world. Very few till now in Greece had known that there is also another kind of Orthodox Christian witness, that of the socially oriented and pastorally significant Brother- (and Sister-) hoods, especially in periods of crisis.

Japan’s churches urge nuclear-free world

In July 2014, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee adopted a statement entitled "Towards a Nuclear-free World." In the same year, on 4 August, on behalf of the world's 500 million Christians, WCC Asia president Dr Chang Sang visited Japan, and delivered this statement in person to the chief cabinet secretary of the Japanese government, Yoshihide Suga. The churches in Japan, which experienced Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were greatly encouraged by these WCC actions.

God, faith and church life under question in a time of a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the political, economic and social life of a troubled world, already suffering by the financial crisis and imposed neoliberal austerity measures. With this current crisis, a strange unity has risen; a unity in fear of illness and death, anxious uncertainty for the future and collective mourning for the tens of thousands of deaths.

An unfamiliar sense of vulnerability

News of the bushfires that have ravaged Australia in recent months has been seen by millions around the world. Words like ‘unprecedented’ have been used to describe this national disaster, which has claimed the lives of 34 people and an estimated 1 billion animals.

Experiences on the pilgrimage for climate justice

For decades I have been trying – together with social movements – to raise awareness in our churches and politics that we in the rich North, particularly in Germany, are living at the expense of people and nature in the global South, and that we offload the consequences to other parts of the earth. My focus is on the subject of justice. I believe that there cannot be solutions to the climate crisis if the issues of resource and social justice are not addressed. Peace in the world also heavily depends on this.

Bethlehem shepherds, water shortage and trees of hope

This Christmas Season I will have concrete places in my mind when I listen to the story of the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. I will think of the Bedouin community in Suyica, near Yatta, a Palestinian city in the West Bank. They live in tents and in caves because they are not allowed to build houses. Together with about 20 Methodists from around the globe representing the World Methodist Council, we visited them in October.

Water and the human right to food

Water is a key resource both to provide drinking water and to generate food and energy for a growing world population. A fifth of the global population lives in regions affected by water stress - in regions where more water is used than can naturally be recharged.

Worlds come together in prayer

A thousand associations come to my mind when the theme is prayer: My Lutheran parents prayed for me and with me when I was a child, and my uncle who was a Baptist minister began dinners with long free prayers. In church and at home we sang Danish hymns with wordings such as: “All good gifts come from above” and “Now we all give thanks to God”.

As Reformation jubilee ends, it's time for a reformation of the economy!

Looking back on a year of Reformation commemorations, many churches ask themselves, what has changed, or what will change after this outstanding 500 years jubilee. We look back on an enormous engagement, from congregations to the worldwide level, to organize events and celebrations. The Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation pointed out clearly: “Salvation, human beings and creation are not for sale.” The three protestant churches of Austria – Lutheran, Reformed and Methodist - celebrated the 500-years Reformation Jubilee together with thousands of participants and proclaimed “Justice, Peace and Integrity of creation” as their main topics. No question: we are talking about the economy!