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Fr Jamal Khader: “We need to keep hope alive” in Palestine

It is easy to feel despair of the unjust situation for the Palestinians, who are experiencing daily humiliation, annexation of land, growing settlements, land grabbing and poverty. This year Palestine has been illegally occupied for 53 years. But there are also many people in Palestine cultivating hope, faith and love for transforming the situation.

World Week for Peace highlights humanity and equality

Under the theme “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”, people of faith all over the world are encouraged to bear common witness by gathering in prayer and acts of support during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This yearly manifestation of solidarity and hope takes place 15 – 22 September and as usual it includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

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 pressing ahead with disarmament work

The work of the World Council of Churches (WCC) related to disarmament continues to endure and expand, even as the world faces increasing injustice and tensions that threaten peace on a daily basis.

WCC general secretary condemns demolitions in Wadi-Al-Hummus

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called on Israel to stop the illegal demolitions immediately. “Israeli authorities have demolished 16 Palestinian buildings, containing some 70 apartments, in Wadi Al-Hummus, in occupied East Jerusalem. This is against international law.” Over two hundred people have already been displaced in East Jerusalem this year.

Demolitions in Wadi-Al-Hummus “catastrophe for community”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel is reporting that nine homes in Wadi-Al-Hummus have been demolished, with at least two families forcibly removed from their homes, as observed by Ecumenical Accompaniers on site. Over 100 families were removed altogether and prior to the demolitions.

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.

WCC statement reiterates call for just peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee, in a statement, reiterated its call for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. “That commitment is part of the fabric of our faith, and of the heritage of the ecumenical movement,” reads the statement. "We seek to express it by accompanying the churches, interfaith partners and communities of these lands in their witness and work for justice and for peace.”

Hostilities in Gaza ‘morally and ethically untenable,’ religious leaders state

On 8 May, the WCC, Middle East Council of Churches, and ACT Alliance released a message expressing deep concern over the latest hostilities in the Gaza Strip, describing the present situation as “morally and ethically untenable.” Last weekend, the region near the Israel-Gaza border saw the most intense escalation of violence since the 2014 war.

A faith-based, holistic approach to HIV and AIDS-care

In a country now counting 100 million inhabitants, and where 2.5 percent are added annually, it is increasingly hard for the government to keep pace with the needs of its people. “In this challenging environment, the work of non-governmental organisations is critical in order to ease the burden on public service institutions”, explains Dr Maged Moussa Yanny, general director of EpiscoCare.

WCC general secretary reflects on the ecumenical movement of Love

In a speech at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) meeting in Cyprus this week, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the theme of the upcoming WCC 11th Assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

"What matters is winning the peace in Syria," UN envoy says

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit hosted a lunch on 12 December in gratitude to the services rendered by the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura at the Château de Bossey with ambassador Heidi Grau, Head of the human security division at the Swiss FDFA, and the UN and WCC teams on Syria.

WCC condemns attack on Christians in Egypt

Today, as the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches began its meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, we received news of another attack against our Coptic Christian sisters and brothers in Egypt.

WCC and local churches express deep concern about Jewish Nation-State Law

Heads of churches in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have reacted with dismay and concern to the Israeli Knesset’s adoption on 19 July 2018 of a new Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which specifies that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Broken glass of hope grown out of rubble

Originally, they were made of pieces of broken glass from the rubble an Israeli tank left behind it when it slammed into the giftshop at the International Centre of Bethlehem (ICB) in 2002. Today the glass angels of peace are made of used bottles and have emerged into a small business enterprise employing around 50 people in the Bethlehem area. Since the tank-incident, thousands of angels have been produced and sold worldwide.