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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.

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.”

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 gravely concerned over Israel’s travel ban

The World Council of Churches (WCC) today expressed grave concern about a new law passed on Monday by the Knesset which reportedly forbids granting entry visas to foreign nationals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The ‘Entry to Israel Act (Denial of Visa to Non-Residents Who Knowingly Call for a Boycott on Israel)’ apparently makes no distinction between boycotting Israel proper and boycotting products of the settlements, which are widely considered illegal under international law.

WCC general secretary reflects on peace in Palestine and Israel

The WCC is committed to a just peace in Palestine and Israel with a view that this conflict is about justice with deep moral dimensions that must be given proper weight by all if we are to reach a lasting solution. Religion can both contribute to the increase of the level of conflict, or help establish peace. Read the interview with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

Roots of religion and violence in the Middle East are explored in Ecumenical Review

The latest edition of the quarterly WCC journal features a discussion of the roots of religion and violence in the Middle East. Five presentations drawn from three WCC-sponsored conferences of recent years explore aspects of the religious concepts of “promised land,” the “theology of land” and how to go about “reading the Hebrew Bible in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

Education and interreligious dialogue focus in Galilee

In the old city of Acre, which is located by the Mediterranean sea in northern Israel, almost all Palestinian families are displaced. Poverty, discrimination and lack of motivation for education are some of the daily obstacles people face.

WCC general secretary shares with pope aspirations for unity, justice and peace

In an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit stressed the significance of Christian unity. He also expressed appreciation for Pope Francis’s call to pray for peace in Syria and his call for churches to remember the poor, encouraging Christians to work for economic justice.

Youth build multi-faith community in Bossey

Young people of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths have created a unique community during a summer course at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey. Together they seek to break religious stereotypes, promote mutual respect and enhance their understanding of religions beyond the conflict paradigm.