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Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud honored with International Religious Freedom Award

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, has received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State. The awards “honor extraordinary advocates of religious freedom from around the world” and will be presented on 17 July in Washington, D.C.

World Social Forum sows seed of hope in global north

A delegation from the WCC attended the 12th World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada, which concluded on 14 August. More than 30,000 participants from around the world gathered to discuss global issues based on their local experiences, network with others working on similar problems, and create new joint initiatives advancing a progressive path forward.

Prayer and advocacy for Korean peace and reunification

This year's “Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula” will be observed on 14 August. The special day of prayer follows a visit from a delegation of the National Council of Churches in Korea and the National Council of Churches USA with USA policymakers. The delegation is advocating for a permanent peace treaty between North and South Korea.

Ecumenical team listens and learns in racial justice journey to the USA

“Racism remains an issue that divides society and even families,” said Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in a Washington DC workshop on “the theological basis for lifting the voice of the marginalized.” She noted that these dramatically relevant words were not her own, but are drawn from a WCC study on race undertaken in the 1990s.

Killer Robots? Moral questions pervade UN conference

The prospect of armed robots taking human lives, and whether to ban autonomous weapons before they are made, concentrated the minds of governmental and non-governmental delegates at a United Nations forum in Geneva in mid-April.

Praying for justice and peace in Azzun

Arrests of Palestinian civilians and vandalism of their homes at the hands of Israeli military forces is not a new phenomenon in the West Bank. Natalie Maxson, a volunteer for the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel speaks from her experience of meeting a family in Azzun faced with a similar situation.