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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.

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.

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.

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.

In the ecumenical movement to stay

Since a small scholarship got her involved in the ecumenical movement, Sana Jennifer’s future has been staked out. She started as a bishop’s secretary and office administrator at the Diocese of Raiwind, Church of Pakistan, in Lahore three years ago and was appointed youth programme coordinator this year.

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.

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.

WCC adopts statements on contemporary public issues

South Africa, Australia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Pakistan, Syria and Myanmar have provided the subjects for statements and minutes of concern voiced by the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) as part of public issues actions during a recent meeting of that governing body at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolympari, Greece.

WCC general secretary explores mission of the church amidst challenges

Reflecting on the socio-political situation of Christians in Pakistan, the World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit finds God in difficult situations and explores the mission of the church in the country’s special context. He was speaking at a mission consultation organized by the Church of Pakistan on 9 October in Lahore.