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Hope prevails in times of crisis in Lebanon

The fatal blast in Beirut last month became yet another blow to an already plagued country. In recent months, a financial crisis with a free-falling currency and rising unemployment has further undermined the Lebanese economy. Add to that one million Syrian refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contours of a fragile nation facing monumental challenges emerge.

In Korea, young ‘stewards of hope’ forge ahead together

As the Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity opened at the Yonsei University Chapel in South Korea on 18 September, participants were already learning to live into the theme “Stewards of Hope, Seekers of Harmony.” For the first time, the training includes not only young people from Asia but from across the world, and is being co-coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Programme for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, the Council for World Mission, and youth representatives from the ecumenical movement.

In Japan, theologians reflect on today’s global manifestations of racism

Twenty-five ecumenical theologians and leaders gathered for public lectures coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 September under the theme “Global Manifestations of Racism Today”.

Lectures and responses reflected on racism as a major concern of the ecumenical movement. Reflections focused on understanding global manifestations of racism today, and reaffirming the intersection of race and ethnicity with other determining characteristics.

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.

A passionate Korean feminist and ecumenist

At the most glorious moment in her career, Rev. Prof. Dr Sang Chang discovered that society is not always friendly and that politics can be devilish. But thanks to God, she got over it. Without bitterness and even more determined in her fight for gender equality and social justice.

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.

WCC statement reiterates call for just peace in Palestine and Israel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee, in a statement, reiterated its call for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. “That commitment is part of the fabric of our faith, and of the heritage of the ecumenical movement,” reads the statement. "We seek to express it by accompanying the churches, interfaith partners and communities of these lands in their witness and work for justice and for peace.”

Peacemakers at work in Sri Lanka

In the wake of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, the Omnia Institute for Contextual Leadership, based in Chicago, lifted up points of hope that peace will win in the end. In a 25 April message, Shanta Premawardhana, president of the institute, wrote that every person of every faith of every nation deserves to wake up in peace. “Every child deserves to feel safe, welcomed, and alive to the promise that each day brings,” Premawardhana wrote. “I'm sure you know that this is why we build Interfaith Peacemaker Teams in Sri Lanka.”

Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity

18 - 29 September 2019

Applications are now open for YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity), an interreligious training programme launched by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 2014 following its 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Republic of Korea

As Seven Weeks for Water begins, water scarcity “no act of God”

“It is not God’s will that the earth is destroyed. We the creatures, we who are supposed to be stewards of creation, are unjustly self-destructive”, read the sermon of the Rt. Rev. Arnold C. Temple, president of the All Africa Conference of Churches, at the opening service of World Council of Churches (WCC) Lenten Campaign “Seven Weeks for Water”, on 5 March, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Peace is common denominator of all major religions

The Christian Conference of Asia gathered over 100 participants representing seven religions including Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Bahai, Hindu and Sikh to meet with the participants of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Reference Group to discuss relevant issues about religion and their implications to the Asian society.

Fr Alexi - a peacemaker in Syria

WCC News met with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr Alexi Chehadeh, who leads the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East in Damascus, Syria. He is an impressive role model and peacemaker in Syria.