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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. 

WCC visit to Italy harvests examples of the churches’ unconditional support to refugees and migrants

The Central Mediterranean route is the overseas crossing from North Africa to Italy. Those migrating on this route generally aim to reach Italian shores but leave from a variety of North African countries bordering the Mediterranean. Though in past years most migrants have departed from Libya, which is a destination for migrants as well as a transit country, there is also a proportionally small but growing number of departures from Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.

Leadership Matters!

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how the world functions and how people relate to each other. The whole of my life I never imagined a moment where the world would come to a standstill, people giving up travelling and their busy lives to stay at home leaving the streets and public spaces empty. This shows how bad the situation was, at its initial stages. The month of March 2020 is one in which the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt in almost every country in the world. Leaders and policy makers rushed in to stop the spread of the deadly pandemic.

Remembering Patrick Matsinkinyiri (27 July 1937 – 15 January 2021)

Patrick Matsikenyiri was born in Biriri, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and died in Mutare, Zimbabwe near his home village a few kilometers from the border of Mozambique, as a result of complications due to the COVID-19 virus. His career included virtually all aspects of church music — singing, choral directing, composition, hymnal editor, festival leader, professor, and enlivener of global songs in venues around the world.

Catching the moment

Will the COVID-19 pandemic be remembered as a time when everything changed, as a unique moment in history that all can personally relate to? It has already changed a lot for many – while many people have been hit very hard, almost all have faced totally new situations, having to adopt new daily routines, think differently.

Tax justice in a time of COVID-19 crisis

When the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, was recently admitted to hospital with COVID-19, spending a few days in intensive care, a number of British politicians and journalists talked about how the virus was the great leveller. Everyone from street cleaners to world leaders could get the disease; no-one was immune, therefore, we must all follow the same social distancing guidelines. But as Iñigo Aymar of Oxfam has pointed out, COVID-19 is not so much the great leveller, but the great revealer.

Learning to live with the COVID-19 pandemic

Countries affected by COVID-19 are gradually lifting confinement restrictions that were introduced to contain and mitigate the spread of the pandemic. We are slowly, but surely, limping back to normalcy. Although it is too early to declare a victory against COVID-19, the spread of the virus is abating in many countries. But if we drop our guard, it is likely that the virus will regain a foothold in the weeks to come. Vigilance and patience will be needed in these pressing times.

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.

Easter Reflections: “I have come that they may have life and life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land:

It is Easter 2020.

This is the commemoration of both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the source of our liberation but also of our praise and joy, especially in this time of the coronavirus crisis.

'I think it is the same for us now. It is enough that we are reflecting and praying, it is enough that we are listening to the voice of God, and the God of love will always be with us in our homes, in our churches, and our workplaces. The Risen Christ will bring us peace in our homes, and grants us hope in a hopeless situation, bringing us life and life abundantly.'

Reflections on our deeper crisis

An article on an interesting subject? No, not this time. I can only write from the deep crisis situation we are in at present. There is nothing else that keeps me more busy than the question of how to live with the anxiety and fear of the coronavirus and what to make of it.

Churches’ Commitments to Children: when the church comes to the table

It was at the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly in Busan in 2013 where my journey with the Churches’ Commitments to Children - or (CC2C for short - started. Thirty-eight churches came together, formed a working group and came out with a joint declaration entitled “Putting Children at the Centre.” This declaration essentially called upon the WCC to ensure that children were not shunted to the side but took their rightful place at the centre of the churches’ plans, activities and social fabric where they belong.