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Japan’s churches urge nuclear-free world

In July 2014, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee adopted a statement entitled "Towards a Nuclear-free World." In the same year, on 4 August, on behalf of the world's 500 million Christians, WCC Asia president Dr Chang Sang visited Japan, and delivered this statement in person to the chief cabinet secretary of the Japanese government, Yoshihide Suga. The churches in Japan, which experienced Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were greatly encouraged by these WCC actions.

Prayers are key of peace

We believe that the global prayer campaign for the Korean Peninsula will be a key of peace to open the gate to cultivate forgiveness and reconciliation, a fountain of peace to revitalize a global ecumenical solidarity, and a milestone of peace to end the war on the Korean Peninsula after 70 years.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula – NOW!

“We pray – Peace now – End the War!” This is the motto for the “Light of Peace” Prayer Campaign for the Korean Peninsula. “Peace now!” Now we are caught in the global coronavirus pandemic. The airtime in TV and radio is occupied by news related to the spread of the virus with many bad consequences for health and wealth of humankind. In this crisis we tend to forget other urgent needs. One of them is the call for peace for the Korean Peninsula.

Who is my neighbor? Love at a time of physical distance?

May God's comfort and love be with you who are holding up every day in the midst of the coronavirus. We lost our normal lives very quickly and we are experiencing limitations of human being in the face of such a sudden disaster. The number of confirmed cases and deaths that flow out of the news every day seems unrealistic, and this painful reality puts us in deep frustration.

My first Confucian-Christian dialogue

The effects of certain types of experiences do not fade with time; rather they permeate deep into your existence to further broaden your understanding about the realities of life. For me the first Christian-Confucian Dialogue initiated by the World Council of Churches at South Korea was one such experience. It will stay with me for a long time and I will time travel back and forth from it to understand the complexities of inter-religious discussions.

Prayer Service for Peace on the eve of ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize

Trinity Church in Oslo is a great round space of silence and light. It’s a place that invites those who enter to think about peace. Campaigners of different faiths and traditions, in the city to celebrate the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, quietly fill the pews. Then a grand organ sounds—this house of prayer welcomes guests with its own voice.

Moments of rest on the pilgrimage

When recalling the 2013 WCC General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, one of the things than often comes to my mind is Madang. In Korean culture, the Madang is a space in the traditional Korean household, where the members of a larger family meet not only to discuss serious issues, but also to spend time together, to rest, to laugh, and simply to enjoy each other’s company.

Africa churches unite behind a nuclear weapons ban treaty

Africa space is a religious space, a combination of 54 states from North to East, West to South. Differences in culture and religious persuasion exist, but a unity of purpose is always on peace and development. What is not negotiable is the strong believe in God, the piousness of Africans. That's why we boldly and unanimously walk on the common ground to say this weapon of mass destruction remaining unbanned is totally unacceptable.

Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC

I was standing in the control booth at the back of the auditorium when the moderator of the WCC Central Committee declared the 9th Assembly open, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 14 February 2006. My friend Jean-Nicolas Bazin and I were surrounded by light and sound technicians and we had our eyes on the script of the opening plenary, making sure everything was flowing smoothly and according to plan.

Spirituality and ecumenism: journeying together

In November 2015 a WCC Seminar on Ecumenism and Spirituality Lived and Practiced by Young People was held in Salatiga, Indonesia. I was really excited because that was the first time I participated in a worldwide ecumenical event.

A year full of promise for sustainable development, water and sanitation

Year 2015 is an important milestone for all those who care for the environment, climate and water. Arguably it could be remembered along with 1992, as one of those “green years”. For networks such as the Ecumenical Water Network, who are engaged with both water concerns as well as other ecological issues such as climate change, this year has been an excellent opportunity to highlight issues of water and sustainable development.

United Church of Canada youth pilgrims inspired to be changemakers

This summer has undoubtedly been one of the most inspiring and eye-opening experiences of my entire life. On the 4th of July, 2015, a small group of youth from across the United Church of Canada gathered in Vancouver, on the Pacific coast of our nation. Along with our two adult coordinators, we would embark on a pilgrimage across Canada to reach Corner Brook, Newfoundland, on the Atlantic Coast, where we were to participate in the triennial general meeting of commissioners and delegates from across our Church: General Council.

What sights and sounds tell Hiroshima’s A-bomb story today?

Hiroshima, 6 August 2015 - What sights and sounds told this city’s story today? A graveside scream at dawn? The penetrating gong that sounded to mark the moment the atomic bomb exploded 70 years ago? Candle lanterns floating toward the sea on the evening tide? Or a young pastor’s confession, “I feel guilty”, because his family was spared 70 years ago by a last-minute twist of fate?

A Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Korea: Exodus from division and nuclear threats

The summer in Korea is a lush and attractive season for vacationers. Yet it is far more than that. It is a period haunted by heavy historical memories. June 25 marks the day of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950; July 27, the day of the conclusion of armistice in 1953; and August 15, the day of liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945, which immediately led to the division between North and South by the Soviet Union and the United States.

Let justice roll down like waters…

Justice and peace have been high on the agenda of the churches for a very long time. In their pursuit of peace, churches are inspired by Jesus Christ, the prince of peace who promised to give peace to all his followers. From the very beginning, the work of Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the WCC had a justice perspective

Churches in the DRC embark on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been experiencing great distress because of the armed conflicts over more than ten years, and its economic fabric has noticeably deteriorated as a result. As part of its main mission, which is fulfilling the work of humankind’s salvation by Jesus Christ, who came that the sheep might have life and have it abundantly, the church in the DRC has during this time been active in promoting the people’s well-being.

On pilgrimage, journeys, and justice

Pilgrimages are familiar to many of us from The Canterbury Tales or The Pilgrim’s Progress. In both of these classics of Western literature pilgrimages feature prominently. You might remember that Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories represented as part of story-telling contest between a group of pilgrims journeying to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize being a free meal at the Tabard Inn in Southwark on the return journey. The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory about the life of a protagonist named “Christian” whose journey through the story represents the pilgrimage or journey that is the life of the Christian.