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Dr Cecile De Sweemer, the doer of God

Dr Cecile De Sweemer, who served as staff of the Christian Medical Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1982 to 1986, died on the 27 November in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). De Sweemer, a Belgian medical doctor with a doctorate in International Health from Johns Hopkins University, with extensive experience in Asia and Africa, was a dedicated and compassionate physician.

Bishop Helga - diaconal apostle

This year it is five hundred years since the Reformation. This has been commemorated throughout the year. A lot has happened in the world. The Reformation is ongoing in churches around the world. Discussions are constantly held about how a church should be today and how to reach out with the gospel. WCC News meets Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien this year, one of the most experienced and prominent women among Lutheran bishops in the world.

Churches in Norway and Pakistan break new ecumenical ground

In a country where Christians are in clear minority, often suffering discrimination, and in a context that has seen repeated frictions and violence between people of different religious traditions, the Church of Norway and Church of Pakistan have broken new ecumenical ground during a recent week in Lahore, Pakistan.

Religion: Way of war or path to peace?

From Paris to Pakistan, Orlando to Myanmar, Iraq to Nigeria, each day witnesses conflict and violence perpetrated in the name of religion or committed against persons because of their religious identity.

Refugees on Greek isle say, "We come only for a safe life"

Sitting in a tent at the Souda camp, on the island of Chios in Greece, a Pakistani family of 12 recalls the lives they had in their home country. They had everything except safety. Muhammed and his wife, Asia, along with their 10 children, fled their home country in search of a place where they weren’t constantly fearing for their lives.

Pilgrimage for climate justice continues in Norway

Norway’s largest church festival took on a green tint this year. A presentation about the situation of a country deeply affected by climate change, a popular workshop on church engagement in climate justice, and a speech by the WCC general secretary were among featured events.

Momentum builds for ban on nuclear weapons

After a concerted examination of the evidence presented at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and two earlier conferences, 44 of the states present called for a ban on nuclear weapons. The host government Austria added momentum with a specific, cooperative pledge to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition of nuclear weapons” and eliminate them.

WCC general secretary speaks on reality of wars at Sant’Egidio meeting

Around 400 international participants representing diverse religious traditions at the Sant’Egidio community's 28th International Meeting of People and Religions in Antwerp, Belgium, focused on the theme “Peace is the Future”. The meeting featured dialogue, prayers and reflections on cultures and religions, including on 9 September an address from the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.