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DiPaz urges stronger international call for Colombian government to advance peace

In a 13 July letter to the United Nations Security Council, the Diálogo Intereclesial por la Paz en Colombia (DiPaz), an interchurch platform for dialogue for peace in Colombia, called on the international community to urge the Colombian government to resume the full implementation of the peace agreement and strengthen channels of dialogue to resolve societal issues.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

In Colombia, “what is happening is terribly painful”

Rev. Gloria Ulloa, World Council of Churches president for Latin America and the Caribbean, is in Cali, Colombia, with a delegation of DiPaz, the country’s main ecumenical peacebuilding platform. The group is having direct grassroots contact with the conflicts currently taking place. Ulloa and others hope to bring to light testimonies of peoples and communities usually forgotten by the big media.

Below is Ulloa's latest description on the ground.

International church-based organizations urge Colombian president to stop spiral of violence

The World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Anglican Communion, World Methodist Council, Latin American Episcopal Council and World Association for Christian Communication, in a letter sent 18 May, urged Colombian president Iván Duque Marquéz to stop the spiral of violence that is doing terrible harm to the civilian population.

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.”

“Conflict Zones and Covid-19” webinar will offer a clarion call to compassion

A webinar hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 26 November will explore “Conflict Zones and Covid-19: A call to compassion.” Speakers from Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Lebanon, Belarus and Colombia will offer their insights on how conflict exacerbates the conditions for contracting and treating COVID-19 among civilians caught in the crossfire, especially women.

Amazon’s grave risks exacerbated by agri-plundering, proselytizing

God’s creation groans in the Amazon forest, a sacred space for 34 million people suffering from the growth of inequality, land invasion, extractivism, relaxation of environmental laws, criminalization and murder of its defenders, and arson orchestrated by agribusiness—all of it made worse by proselytizing.

Faltering Colombian peace process needs urgent work

When a wide-ranging ecumenical group discussed “Transitional Justice in Colombia, implications for the peace process”, many of the speakers seemed worried that the great hope there was back in 2016 seems to have dissipated and much more work for peace is needed.

WCC backs calls for crucial peace, dialogue in Colombia

A delegation comprised of two church leaders and a victim of death threats who lost family members due to the conflict in Colombia was hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in New York, 27-30 May. All three spoke with member states of the United Nations Security Council about the worsening situation in relation to the peace accords with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the stalled dialogue with the National Liberation Army.

WCC expresses concern about Colombia’s peace process in light of recent killings of Micoahumado community leaders

“We express our deepest concern with regard to the search for peace in Colombia, and we call upon the Colombian government and all armed actors to refrain from targeting social leaders and communities in conflict zones”, said Rev. Frank Chikane, moderator of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), in light of the recent killings of social leaders in Micoahumado, South Bolivar, and elsewhere around the country.

Interfaith Rainforest Initiative expands

A global faith-based movement, the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, has been strengthening its communication and creating country programs in an ongoing effort to inspire people, appeal to their core values, and make an ethical case for urgent and concerted action to protect rainforests.

WCC urges protection of Colombian peacemakers

As Colombia strives to pave the road to just peace, new death threats against social, union and religious leaders and institutions were issued by paramilitaries earlier this week. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is closely following the developments and reiterates its full support to those committed to working for peace in the country.

Unfulfilled promises put Colombia peace at risk, says WCC

Despite a signed and ratified peace agreement, the long journey of regional churches and the WCC in support of peace in Colombia is not over, says the WCC central committee, which urges churches, governments, and others to press toward fulfillment of the terms and promises of the agreement, to prevent momentum ceasing and violence resurging.

#WCC70: A story of life

In writing a story for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Elias Crisóstomo Abramides of Argentina, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is writing the story of his life. His service at the WCC opened for him the gate to meeting and loving “the very good Creation of God”: love, respect and admiration for the life of his neighbours and for all creation.