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Statement: International Ecumenical Delegation Visit to DPRK, 3-7 May 2018

A six-person international ecumenical delegation, comprised of representatives of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and led by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and WCRC general secretary Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson, visited Pyongyang on 3-7 May, at the invitation of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

General Secretary

In the ecumenical movement to stay

Since a small scholarship got her involved in the ecumenical movement, Sana Jennifer’s future has been staked out. She started as a bishop’s secretary and office administrator at the Diocese of Raiwind, Church of Pakistan, in Lahore three years ago and was appointed youth programme coordinator this year.

Church of the Lord in Nigeria called women to pastoral work from its founding

The primate of The Church of the Lord, Aladura, Worldwide, an African initiated church founded in 1925 talks with pride about how the founder had a calling from God to have women serving with men in pastoral work. Primate Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiolaolu Ositelu, metropolitan archbishop of the church visited Geneva and the WCC on 29-30 January.

Unifying faiths in peace and harmony through dialogue

In a plenary discussion titled ”Light and Truth in Pluralistic Asia” held at the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) in Manado, Indonesia last Monday, religious leaders from different faiths shared perspectives. They agreed that continuous interfaith dialogue is key to better mutual understanding, tolerance and respect.

Korean church leaders welcome news of US-North Korea summit

On 9 March the National Council of Churches of Korea (NCCK) commented on the news that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), while agreeing to cease missile tests, has requested a summit meeting with the United States, and that President Trump has agreed to a meeting with the DPRK by May.

Sowing Peace

I recently attended the conference on ‘Interreligious dialogue for peace: Promoting Peaceful coexistence and common citizenship’ organized by KAICIID in Vienna on the 26 and 27 of February. The conference brought together some high profile religious leaders (predominantly but not exclusively from the Christian and Muslim faiths) who spoke with a united voice for social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and respect for religious diversity.

Arab religious leaders create first-ever platform for social cohesion

An “Interreligious Dialogue for Peace, Promoting Peaceful Coexistence & Common Citizenship” in Vienna on 26 February is creating a first-ever joint action plan for Arab religious leaders to lead the way in repairing the divisions created by extremists, and rebuilding social cohesion and common citizenship in the Arab region.

Walking together against hatred and violence

When more than 100 religious leaders and other actors from around the world gathered at the UN in Vienna in mid-February, it was a manifestation of unity between religious and non-religious organizations, and a genuine commitment to cooperate in dealing with hate speech and incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes.

Turning plans into action to prevent incitement to violence

Another step towards preventing incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes was taken on Tuesday this week, when religious leaders and other actors gathered for a three-day meeting in Vienna to discuss the implementation of the Plan of Action for such prevention.

Iraqi religious leaders call for restoring religious and social cohesion

More than 40 religious leaders from Iraq gathered in Beirut, Lebanon under the auspices of the World Council of Churches for three days of constructive interfaith dialogue to identify and analyse opportunities and challenges related to cohesion and highlight the role of religious leaders in re-storing inclusive multi-religious and multi-cultural communities in Iraq after years of conflict.