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WCC executive committee maps future with hope in uncertain times

During its online meeting, 9-13 November, the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee addressed vital international developments, approved plans for 2021 and pledged support and solidarity with churches across the world at a time of multiple concurrent crises.

WCC offers Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jewish communities across the globe

World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca sent joyful greetings to Jewish friends and colleagues across the world on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah and the forthcoming High Holy Days.“May this be a time of blessing, joy and peace for you,” writes Sauca. “Certainly, this last year has brought a time of extraordinary challenges for us all.”

Ecumenical forum in Amman pushes for just peace in Palestine and Israel

An ecumenical consultation being held in Amman, Jordan, 25-26 February is exploring “Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.”

Those gathered are discussing new developments and the current situation in Israel and Palestine, as well as ecumenical responses and initiatives. The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) has been an important way to consult ecumenically and coordinate activities for just peace, and the structure and mandate will be revised.

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.

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.

WCC condemns violence in Syria

As Turkey pursues its military operation in north-east Syria, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is gravely concerned about the humanitarian impact on the people of the region. It is reported that tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing from the first waves of the Turkish attack, and that hundreds of thousands of people are now directly in harm’s way.

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.

Disability advocates welcome UN resolution

When disability advocates met this summer in Lebanon, they saw first-hand the difficulties facing persons with disabilities in refugee camps and zones of conflict in the Middle East.

WCC general secretary reflects on renewed bonds with IJCIC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris. This meeting was held under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today.” Below, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflects on how restored relations between the two groups transpired.