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COVID-19 in conflict zones: “a crisis within another crisis”

Damaris, a Nigerian woman, described her experience of 2020: “We’ve gone through hell.”

Damaris and her sisters were kidnapped in March 2020 and threatened with death as their kidnappers demanded money. Her father had to sell everything and beg on the streets to meet their demands. “We are just a common people in Nigeria,” she said. “We don’t know what we did.”

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

EAPPI serves as global peacemaker, notes outgoing coordinator

Manuel Quintero is retiring after eight years of service as the international programme coordinator for the WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). He took time to reflect on the mission of EAPPI, particularly within its current context, as well as aspects of the programme that have been dear to his heart.

Syrian crisis poses challenges in Palestinian refugee camps

During the 29 years Virgine Nasrawi has worked in the Talbiah refugee camp, located 40 kilometers south of Amman, the Jordanian capital, she has witnessed many changes. And the sudden influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria, caused by the devastating civil war in that country, is the most dramatic.

Local and global work saves lives

It is raining. It is cold and windy. Autumn is in the air in northern Greece. We have just arrived at the Idomeni refugee camp in northern Greece, on the border between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The fast-approaching winter poses as great a threat to the refugees as do the smugglers. In the worst case, winter means death.

WCC expresses concern over renewed violence in Jerusalem

The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed deep concern over the renewed wave of violence in Jerusalem. In a letter to WCC member churches in Palestine and Israel, he expressed solidarity with the churches and peoples of the land, and affirmed WCC’s commitment to justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.

A presence to accompany vulnerable communities

They are there every day, each month of the year – as they have been for the last 13 years. They have become a natural element in the chaos of life in Israel and Palestine. Their presence is appreciated. They provide safety and stability. Their sole weapon is a pen, or a camera. They see and listen; they analyze and report back.

Churches call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza

Expressing grave concern over the escalation of military operations in Gaza, the WCC general secretary said, “Hostilities must cease. Israel, Palestine and the surrounding region must be offered the hope of peace: a peace based in justice, a lasting peace that may lead toward reconciliation”.