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COVID-19 reveals and deepens inequalities; where is the Economy of Life?

Television, FaceBook and WhatsApp chats bring news from Manila, much of it disheartening. In the early stages of the pandemic with nearly 1,500 cases as of this writing, the Philippines has already lost 12 frontliners to COVID-19 (comprising one-fifth of total fatalities), one of them a young Methodist doctor. This is disastrous for a country that has only 1.3 doctors per 1,000 people (in part due to the exodus of medical professionals to “greener pastures” abroad).

Faces of help: WCC offers resource people to accompany during COVID-19 pandemic

The WCC is offering member churches some resources with a human face during the COVID-19 pandemic. A team of eight resource people has been made available to consult on how churches can discern their roles during the coronavirus pandemic, how they can adapt as faith communities, and how they can connect and share with each other.

Seven Weeks for Water 2020, week 5: "Water and Climate Change", by Dinesh Suna

The fifth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2020 is by Dinesh Suna, coordinator of Ecumenical Water Network, World Council of Churches. He is a Lutheran and comes from India. In the following reflection, he explores the importance of “hand-washing” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic while this basic facility is not available to millions of people, particularly to children. He dedicates this reflection to World Water Day which is being observed on 22 March with the theme “Water and Climate Change.”

WCC Programmes

Seven Weeks for Water 2020, week 4: "Water: a gift of God, a public good and a human right. Should we privatize it?", by ev. Dr. Donald Bruce Yeates

The fourth reflection of the seven weeks for water 2020 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is by Rev. Dr. Donald Bruce Yeates, a minister of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church of Suva, Fiji and a consultant chaplain at The University of the South Pacific. Bruce has been active in the Pacific since 1975 as an academic in social work, community development and social policy having served at the University of Papua New Guinea and The University of the South Pacific. In the following  reflection he underlines the importance of human right to water and the onslaught of privatisation in the backdrop of  world’s most famous bottled water which comes from his home country, the “Fiji waters”.

WCC Programmes

WCC commemorates World AIDS Day with focus on making a difference, community by community

For World AIDS Day 2019, the World Council of Churches (WCC) embraces the theme "Communities make the difference." World AIDS Day is being commemorated in the context of 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence, an annual international campaign that began on 25 November and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The WCC also helps bring about grassroots awareness and change through the Thursdays in Black campaign for a world free from rape and violence.

WCC staff appointed to WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs

The WHO Director-General has convened a Civil Society Working Group on non-communicable diseases to strengthen civil society contribution to combat NCDs. In this regard, the WHO has appointed the WCC programme executive for Health and Healing, Dr Mwai Makoka, to this working group.

WCC, UNICEF celebrate commitment of churches to children

“Churches can help respond to the urgent demands of the children who march in the streets for our planet,” said moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee, Dr Agnes Abuom, during the Executive Committee celebratory break marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Young people in Togo: “Hear our voice! We want to tell our stories!”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme sponsored an intergenerational workshop on HIV, masculinities, femininities and sexual reproductive health education for 35 adolescents, young people, theologians, and religious leaders from 28-30 October at the Village du Benin, University of Lomé, Togo.

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.

WCC to youth: “Is this the world we bequeath to you?”

On 12 August, International Youth Day, World Council of Churches deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri greeted young people gathered in Geneva, Switzerland.
International Youth Day, Phiri reflected, takes place in a time of increased international tensions, looming climatic deadlines, increasing disparities of income and wealth, and great rents in the social fabric of our societies.

WCC leader reflects on antisemitism, definitions and future cooperation

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today”. This meeting took place at a time of significant challenges in public and religious life for many communities around the world. At the meeting Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the WCC policies on antisemitism and the WCC’s work for human rights for all. The WCC News met with him after the meeting.

The voice of young people at the Human Rights Council

Virag Kinga Mezei is a Hungarian intern for the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. With a passion for human rights, she regularly engages in discussions while also getting training through the WCC on mechanisms that lead to the achievement of racial and social justice.

WCC helps religious leaders relate better to adolescents

Religious leaders are learning to communicate better with adolescents about sexuality and other issues young people face, said participants at a training workshop using materials developed by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme.

Religious leaders in Uganda strive to empower adolescents

As they met with the staff from the World Council Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme, religious leaders in Uganda realized they are well-placed to empower adolescents and young people with knowledge and skills to negotiate issues relating to sexuality.