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WCC stands in solidarity with families of clergy attacked in Pakistan, calls for better protection for all

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed deep sadness and concern upon receiving the news of the murder of lay pastor William Siraj and the wounding of Rev. Patrick Naeem, the priest in charge of the Martyrs of All Saints Church, Diocese of Peshawar, on 30 January. They were ambushed by two unidentified gunman as they were returning from Sunday worship in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Orthodox and Anglican appeals from 1920 remain inspiration for unity

One of the foundational moments in the modern ecumenical movement is an encyclical letter issued 100 years ago by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 1 January 1920. As its opening words state, it was addressed “Unto the Churches of Christ everywhere” and sent as a letter to the leaders of key Christian churches. Its first words are an appeal to “Love one another earnestly from the heart,” quoting from 1 Peter 1:22. The thrust of the letter is the suggestion that doctrinal differences among Christian churches do not, or at least should not, prevent “rapprochement” between Christians.

Freedom of religion rooted in justice

A recent consultation took important steps to find a faithful paradigm of thinking over the issue of "Freedom of Religion or Belief."Twenty-two church leaders and theologians gathered in Hattersheim am Main, Germany, 25-27 February, to discuss this issue in light of the global rise of ethno-nationalisms, xenophobia, interreligious intolerance, patriarchal hegemony and racism.“Given the present rise of ethno-nationalisms that use religion as identity markers and for legitimization of violence, it is imperative that we as people of faith be able to support the freedom of religion and work towards a world in which all people of faith have the freedom of expression, articulation and propagation of their faith,” said Philip Vinod Peacock, executive secretary for justice and witness of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

CCIA meets in Brisbane with focus on Pacific regional priorities

Impacts of the climate change and the lingering health and environmental effects of nuclear testing on the countries in the Pacific region are among the issues to be discussed at the meeting of the WCC’s Commission of Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), convened from 19 to 21 February in Brisbane, Australia.

Peace-building women explore their strength, value

Women have a unique approach to peace-building that could strengthen communities facing conflict and other challenges, found participants at a side event during Geneva Peace Week.The World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance and Norwegian Church Aid organized a dialogue that emphasized new arenas for women’s participation in peace-building.