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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.

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.

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.”

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.

Paving the way for ecumenical studies, learning English in Bossey

Each year students from all over the world arrive at Bossey near Geneva for a three-month language training course to pave their way for ecumenical studies that follow on straight after. “The title captures the goal of the course,” says Father Lawrence Iwuamadi, the Nigerian priest who studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is academic dean of the Ecumenical Institute.

WCC and local churches express deep concern about Jewish Nation-State Law

Heads of churches in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have reacted with dismay and concern to the Israeli Knesset’s adoption on 19 July 2018 of a new Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which specifies that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Faces of Hope raises awareness

A little more than a year ago Rev. Stacey Duensing went on a trip to Israel-Palestine together with her denomination, the Reformed Church in America. She returned home to the United States with a different perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A perspective she wanted to share with a broader public audience.

WCC says future of Jerusalem must be a shared one

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit addressed the status of Jerusalem at the international "World Conference in Support of Jerusalem" on 17-18 January in Cairo, Egypt, organized by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh al-Tayyib, under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

WCC Executive Committee envisions future for unity, justice and peace

The WCC Executive Committee met in Amman, Jordan from 17-23 November to approve the 2018 plan and budget and prepare for renewal of the WCC strategic plan. The Executive Committee also discerned the way forward for the WCC’s involvement in Palestine and Israel by learning more about the particular situation in Jordan and the Middle East, then discussing the challenges of the churches and the WCC response. The Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem, All Palestine and Jordan, Theophilos III, welcomed the group.

WCC condemns attack on mosque in Egypt

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned an attack at a mosque in Egypt during which hundreds of people are believed dead. Tveit expressed sorrow for the lives lost as news continued to unfold of the attack on 24 November.