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Webinar remembers past massacres in the Pacific

A webinar on 18 October remembered past massacres in the Pacific, honoring the legacy and resilience of the victims. Speakers reflected on past massacres in Samoa, the Marshall Islands, and Kanaky, all of which took place during colonial times or during occupation.

 

WCC honors world’s indigenous communities

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will join many in honoring indigenous communities across the world on 9 August. Designated by the United Nations as “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,” this year the day is particularly honoring indigenous people for seeking unique solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for leading the way in sustainable living in a post-COVID-19 era.

Christian communicators create fund to support lifesaving community media

The World Association for Christian Communication is creating a rapid response fund to help support grassroots community media outlets that provide accurate, trusted coronavirus-related information to vulnerable people who often cannot access mainstream media. Individuals and organisations are encouraged to contribute to the fund.

German delegation finds “intolerable conditions” for displaced people on Lesbos

A German delegation comprised of representatives of municipalities, church leaders and prominent civil society organizations recently visited the Greek island of Lesbos, already hosting tens of thousands of migrants and displaced people, and was on site when the news of the opening of the Turkish border was announced and the first new arrivals were appearing.

Wind of change blows at Africa’s leading ecumenical body

A wave of change is blowing at the All Africa Conference of Churches, as the African ecumenical body implements a new five-year strategic plan. In an ambitious six pillar road map, the grouping of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, and indigenous churches has unveiled completely new areas of work, as it moves to inject new energy into older programmes. At the core of the strategy is effectiveness, efficiency and reliability for the ecumenical body, which is keen to deliver on its prophetic mission.

Peruvian Bishop exhorts solidarity with Venezuelan migrants

“As Christians, we are called every day to generously practice hospitality”, said Bishop Samuel Aguilar, from the Methodist Church of Peru, as he lamented cases of xenophobia, discrimination and violence suffered by thousands of Venezuelans in different parts of Latin America.

‘Not a page in a book’ – accompaniers hear Palestinians’ testimonies from Ma’alul village

Ma’alul, a Palestinian village destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, saw a visit by ecumenical accompaniers in mid-March. “I would have liked to invite you to a real home, not just as a refugee,” said Jad Saba Yusef Salem as he received the group of accompaniers to the village. Today, 95-year-old Salem is one of few remaining survivors from the 75 families who used to live in the village back in 1948.

WCC sends greetings as Taize youth reflect on hospitality

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent greetings to hundreds of young people from the Taize community as they gathered in Madrid from 28 December to 1 January to reflect on the theme “Let Us Not Forget Hospitality!”

Fr Alexi - a peacemaker in Syria

WCC News met with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr Alexi Chehadeh, who leads the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East in Damascus, Syria. He is an impressive role model and peacemaker in Syria.

How can you help refugees?

What else could your family, your parish, your community do to respond to the needs of migrants and refugees arriving in your country? Representatives of many different churches met in Rome in September to discuss that practical question, as well as respond to the broader challenge of how people of faith can combat the rising tide of racism, xenophobia and nationalist policies that increasingly target vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers.

Message from the global conference against xenophobia: human beings are equal in dignity

Participants at the conference “Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration” released a message on 19 September that affirms and upholds the institution of asylum for those fleeing from war, persecution or natural disaster, and invokes respect for the rights for all people on the move.

The conference, held in Rome, was organized jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Service versus hospitality: why we should care about the difference

Serving others is something many faith communities put as a priority. But being hospitable to others puts service on a whole new level. In remarks at a youth symposium on 23 August at the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam, Rev. Najla Kassab, president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, reflected on “Hospitality on a Pilgrim’s Way of Justice and Peace.”

Arusha offers vibrant and colourful worship life

Tanzanian dance, vibrant choral performances, and treasured liturgy: the African worship experience in Tanzania has something for everyone searching for meaning. With a spirit of hospitality, the Christ Church Cathedral of Mount Kilimanjaro Diocese in Arusha celebrated mass on 11 March, inviting fellow Christians from around the world who were participating in the WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism.

Not just numbers, displaced people need to share their stories

There are currently over 65 million people around the world who have been forced from their homes, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, but all those who are displaced are not mere statistics. They are people, something that can be missed by the mass media in reporting on them. This observation was highlighted in a discussion at the WCC on 30 January when representatives of church groups, the United Nations and a Christian media organization discussed media coverage of refugees at a “tray-lunch” presentation.