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WCC gravely concerned by escalation of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region

World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed grave concern over the renewed and very serious escalation of conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region since Sunday 27 September – reportedly following an attack by Azerbaijan’s military forces – which has already resulted in dozens of casualties including civilians, and which risks provoking a wider armed conflict in the region.

Metropolitan Vasilios reflects on peace process in Cyprus

It has been 46 years since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus led to the partitioning of the island, the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots, whose government is internationally recognized. The August 1974 ceasefire line became a United Nations buffer zone, along which Cyprus remains divided.

From the heart - conversations with God online, and offline

The year 2020 is one etched forever in our memories. The unimaginable happened when a virus seized the world. Vulnerability became the norm, and fiction became a reality. Overnight life became more precious for all of us, the world’s billions. Normality took a break; frustration set in. Everything we took for granted went on hold.

God, faith and church life under question in a time of a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the political, economic and social life of a troubled world, already suffering by the financial crisis and imposed neoliberal austerity measures. With this current crisis, a strange unity has risen; a unity in fear of illness and death, anxious uncertainty for the future and collective mourning for the tens of thousands of deaths.

We are under care, not at war

Ever since the dominant narrative in Italy and in the world about the pandemic has assumed a war terminology — that is, immediately after the health situation in any given country changes drastically for the worse — I have been looking for a different metaphor to describe adequately what we are living and suffering and at the same time to offer elements of hope and of sense for the days ahead.

Conference of European Churches: “Our societies need our prayers for wise decisions”

Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen is general secretary of the Conference of European Churches. On 26 March, the WCC and Regional Ecumenical Organizations released a historic joint pastoral statement affirming the urgency of standing together to protect life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WCC has since been gathering viewpoints from diverse regions about the importance of taking care of our one human family.

Church leaders, WHO hold global panel discussion on COVID-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, the church serves the spiritual and social needs of people afflicted by the pandemic which is gripping the world, and its key role was highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO). On 31 March a panel of experienced church leaders and medical experts went on air to address the global challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic from a medical, moral, and spiritual perspective. Outgoing World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit moderated the televised 60-minute session as one of his last duties.

”God has promised to be with us also in times of crisis” says Tveit

After more than ten years heading the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit says this is the time that "we should remind one another that we believe in God as the “Good shepherd” who promised to be with us also in times of crisis,” especially in this time of the global COVID-19 crisis.

Ecumenical Review focuses on “Global Manifestations of Racism Today”

The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), focuses on “Global Manifestations of Racism Today,” with a set of articles that originated at a theological symposium organized in Japan in 2019 as part of the WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

WCC supports call to divest from fossil fuel industries

The World Council of Churches is supporting a joint call for churches and faith-based organizations to divest from fossil fuel industries. The call will be formally announced on 26-28 March, coinciding with the Economy of Francesco conference in Assisi, Italy, at which prominent economists will be joined by 2,000 young people from around the world.

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.

Ecumenical prayer for peace in Syria

At the end of the second week of Advent, WCC staff gathered in the Chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva for a special midday prayer for peace in Syria and the Middle East led by Father Jack (Yaqoub) Mourad, head of the Syriac Catholic Monastery of Saint Elian in al-Qaryatayn.