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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.

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 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.

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.

Aiming for unity within diversity in Asia

When the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) kicked off in Manado, Indonesia on the 6 April, it was the first such gathering in 34 years. More than 350 youth from 23 countries across Asia came together to address pertinent issues in today’s globalized world.

“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.

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.