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WCC, Religions for Peace will release joint message on statelessness: “Belonging—Affirmations for Faith Leaders’

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and Religions for Peace will issue on 9 May a joint message on statelessness, Belonging—Affirmations for Faith Leaders”.

The document is one of the most recent fruits of WCC work that has been ongoing for more than a decade around the issue of statelessness. It is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Belonging - Affirmations for Faith Leaders

Background

Genesis of the document

Recognising that we all live in multi-religious societies, African church leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 2016 World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) regional workshop on “Birth Registration and Gender Discriminatory Nationality Laws in Africa”, stressed the need to develop inter-faith strategies and affirmations in our advocacy work for the human rights of stateless people.

WCC Programmes

Easter Initiative to highlight sacredness of Jerusalem as well as obstacles to peace

While Christians around the globe prepare to celebrate Easter, high holidays for Muslims and Jews—Ramadan and Pessach—are also being celebrated at the same time period in 2022. At this confluence of sacred celebration, the very sacredness of Jerusalem is especially evident for locals and visitors alike. But the sacredness of the Holy City and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by consequences of the ongoing occupation, such as discrimination and violence.

On UN International Day of Conscience, WCC officially releases volume “I Belong”

On the UN International Day of  Conscience, 5 April, the World Council of Churches (WCC) releases a new volume of I Belong – Biblical Reflections on Statelessness”. The day highlights the need for the creation of conditions of stability, peaceful coexistence, respect for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, language or religion.

Coexistence

Peace, Nature, Poverty, Terrorism, Values (Religious Perspectives)
Archbishop Dr Anastasios

First published as Συνύπαρξη, this collection of reflections suggests that coexistence has been an essential component of the life of humanity, however, it is frequently undermined and even poisoned. 

The book shows how violence has taken new uncontrollable forms which culminate in polymorphous terrorism. Human aggression expands to exploitation and even to the contempt of creation, with painful consequences for both the natural environment and for human life itself.

The author views, through a theological and religious point of view, peace in ecumenical dimensions as well as in a specific country; the human being and the environment; poverty; terrorism; and universal moral values.

Συνύπαρξη was awarded the 2016 Free Thought Essay Award in memory of Panagiotis Foteas in Greece. It has been published in Greek, Italian, and Albanian, is awaiting publication in French by Apostolia Publishing House, and the German translation will follow soon.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 4: “Water for peace: an interfaith perspective”, by Susanne Öhlmann

The fourth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Susanne Öhlmann.* She says water and peace are similar to each other. We do not miss them until they are absent. On one hand, Europe, a water rich continent, has started to feel the pinch of water shortages in recent times, and on the other, peace and security of the region has started to destabilize in the wake of war in Ukraine. Drawing inspiration from the prophet Amos, she prays for peace and justice to prevail.

Sheikh Maher Assaf: Open Jerusalem’s access to holy places for all

The following feature story is part of a series that continues this years Easter Initiative, which offers a glimpse into the daily lives of Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, living in and around Jerusalem, some of the challenges they face, and what gives them hope. The concept of sacredness underscores these stories. Below, Sheikh Maher Assafs story, set in Bethlehem, speaks to the sacredness of worship, and how freedom of religion is key to achieving peace.