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Education has a crucial role for sustainable peace in Iraq

In a series of workshops in Iraq, the role of education in promoting social cohesion and sustainable peace was discussed by education experts, representatives of government and of different ethnic groups, as well as Iraqi religious and community leaders.

Hope prevails in times of crisis in Lebanon

The fatal blast in Beirut last month became yet another blow to an already plagued country. In recent months, a financial crisis with a free-falling currency and rising unemployment has further undermined the Lebanese economy. Add to that one million Syrian refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contours of a fragile nation facing monumental challenges emerge.

Do not let your hearts be troubled

“Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1) said our Lord, but my heart is troubled. I read this morning that the Chaldean Patriarch ordered to close the Churches in Bagdad in order to protect his people from the virus, and my heart got troubled.

Father Jacques Mourad, priest held hostage by Islamic State, reflects on what he learned

Father Jacques Mourad is a monk and priest of the community of Mar Moussa in Syria. He is very active in Islamic-Christian dialogue and belongs to the diocese of Homs of the Syriac Catholic Church. In 2015, he was captured and held hostage by the Islamic State, before escaping with the help of Muslims. During Advent, Father Mourad visited the Ecumenical Centre, where he led a special midday prayer for peace in Syria and the Middle East.

WCC leaders reiterate need for United States and Iran to step back from escalating conflict

In the aftermath of armed attacks by both the US and Iran, WCC reiterates its call for restraint and de-escalation of the confrontation.
“Further escalation and conflict between the United States and Iran can only serve short-term political interests, while threatening the permanent destruction of many lives, communities and precious cultural and environmental heritage,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “I appeal to political leaders on all sides of this confrontation to put the interests of the people of the region ahead of their own interests, and to seek peace through dialogue and negotiation rather than confrontation.”

WCC urges “maximum restraint” in escalating conflict between US, Iran

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is deeply concerned by the possible consequences for the Middle East region of today's US air strike that killed general Qasem Soleimani, Iran's most prominent military commander, at Baghdad airport in Iraq. The attack is a major escalation in the confrontation between the US and Iran.

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.

Ecumenical young trailblazers

Young people are trailblazers, pioneers, visionaries and leaders who have the potential to create a positive, sustainable legacy for future generations on a global scale.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, youth led a TED-style talk and discussion in Geneva, with five young speakers from different parts of the world, four virtually and one live. The stories and experiences shared connected them to theme “Transforming Education,” while inspiring the audience for a call to action.