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Rev. Jamil Khadir: “Without faith, there is no real hope” in Palestine

Illegal occupation of Palestinian lands has been ongoing for 53 years, imposing deep injustices on the daily life of local communities. In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, many Palestinians know what it can be like to live with settlements close by, not least in the villages around the city, where Palestinian landowners regularly face settler abuse. Yet there are many in the area who persist, in working hard on a daily basis to foster peace and justice. Below, Rev. Jamil Khadir reflects on what this means for him as a local pastor in Nablus.

“Olive trees are holy signs of peace, older than anyone”

In a mood of hope, solidarity and compassion, the WCC olive harvest initiative continued on Wednesday with a live-streamed public webinar, addressing cultural, socio-economic and spiritual aspects of the olive harvest season in the Holy Land, as well as highlighting the impact of the continuing military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

 

Olive harvest initiative reaffirms commitment to justice and peace in the Holy Land

Olive trees know neither religious nor territorial boundaries and bear fruit even under occupation. With the annual olive harvest season commencing, the WCC launches a global initiative this week, highlighting the spiritual, economic and cultural importance of the olive harvest for Palestinian communities, and witnessing to the impact of the occupation.

Metropolitan Vasilios reflects on peace process in Cyprus

It has been 46 years since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus led to the partitioning of the island, the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots, whose government is internationally recognized. The August 1974 ceasefire line became a United Nations buffer zone, along which Cyprus remains divided.

Easter at home: celebrations still bring joy thanks to creative delivery

As Christians across the world prepare to celebrate Easter shuttered in their homes, they will still find the joy of the day and feel closer to each other, thanks to creative thinking by church leaders.

From including photos of church members within webcast worship services, to placing written greetings at doorways, Easter celebrations can still safely connect people who want to celebrate the resurrection of their common Lord.

Father Jacques Mourad, priest held hostage by Islamic State, reflects on what he learned

Father Jacques Mourad is a monk and priest of the community of Mar Moussa in Syria. He is very active in Islamic-Christian dialogue and belongs to the diocese of Homs of the Syriac Catholic Church. In 2015, he was captured and held hostage by the Islamic State, before escaping with the help of Muslims. During Advent, Father Mourad visited the Ecumenical Centre, where he led a special midday prayer for peace in Syria and the Middle East.

WCC leaders reiterate need for United States and Iran to step back from escalating conflict

In the aftermath of armed attacks by both the US and Iran, WCC reiterates its call for restraint and de-escalation of the confrontation.
“Further escalation and conflict between the United States and Iran can only serve short-term political interests, while threatening the permanent destruction of many lives, communities and precious cultural and environmental heritage,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “I appeal to political leaders on all sides of this confrontation to put the interests of the people of the region ahead of their own interests, and to seek peace through dialogue and negotiation rather than confrontation.”

Ecumenical prayer for peace in Syria

At the end of the second week of Advent, WCC staff gathered in the Chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva for a special midday prayer for peace in Syria and the Middle East led by Father Jack (Yaqoub) Mourad, head of the Syriac Catholic Monastery of Saint Elian in al-Qaryatayn.

World Week for Peace highlights humanity and equality

Under the theme “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”, people of faith all over the world are encouraged to bear common witness by gathering in prayer and acts of support during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This yearly manifestation of solidarity and hope takes place 15 – 22 September and as usual it includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

WCC leader reflects on antisemitism, definitions and future cooperation

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today”. This meeting took place at a time of significant challenges in public and religious life for many communities around the world. At the meeting Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the WCC policies on antisemitism and the WCC’s work for human rights for all. The WCC News met with him after the meeting.