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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.

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.

Asian Ecumenical Institute to train next generation of leaders

Twenty-seven young ecumenists from across Asia are currently attending the month-long Asian Ecumenical Institute organized by the Christian Conference of Asia. The programme aims to provide ecumenical formation and leadership development training for prospective church and ecumenical leaders. It is being held at the Christian Conference of Asia headquarters in Payap University Campus in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

WCC leads exploration on racial justice

“Think about your policies, practices and actions, not to just look back at the past, but to ask what can we do today?” These are the reflections of Judith Roberts, director for Racial Justice Ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

WCC pilgrimage turns its eyes to Asia

“Our churches are directly involved in upholding the dignity and rights of people and communities in Asia irrespective of their religious or faith identities”, said Matthews George Chunakara, general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, at the opening of the annual meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Reference Group, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 4 March.

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.

WCC promotes Global Day of Prayer to End Famine

The World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance and All Africa Conference of Churches, along with church-related humanitarian organizations and a coalition of church-related networks and organizations and partners, are promoting 10 June as the second annual Global Day of Prayer to End Famine to be observed in faith congregations worldwide.

“I can do things better back home”

For April Robinson, hopping in a bus with 35 other Christians from across Asia – from Pakistan, to Japan, to New Zealand – and travelling four hours to West Java, Indonesia to meet with interfaith activists brought just the perspective she needed to deepen and bolster her interfaith work back home in Melbourne, Australia.

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.