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As goodwill ambassador, Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka breathes fresh spirit into reconciliation in Czech Republic

Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka, a priest in the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, is moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS Commission for young people. She also serves on the WCC executive and central committees. In February, she was named a goodwill ambassador by H. E. Tomáš Petříček, minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic, a role she will serve for one year. Below, she reflects on her hopes and plans for sharing stories from the Czech Republic with the world, bridging divides in her home country, and, ultimately, bringing about new expressions of Christian love.

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.

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.

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.

Unifying faiths in peace and harmony through dialogue

In a plenary discussion titled ”Light and Truth in Pluralistic Asia” held at the Asia Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) in Manado, Indonesia last Monday, religious leaders from different faiths shared perspectives. They agreed that continuous interfaith dialogue is key to better mutual understanding, tolerance and respect.

Flowers of the church and agents of change gather in Indonesia

Under the theme ”Lord, send Your Light and Truth to lead us”, the Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) opened in Manado, Indonesia on Saturday. For six days, around 350 youth from all over Asia will reflect on the challenges facing them in today’s globalized society and how religion and ecumenism can play a vital role for peace and stability.

Young leaders share passion and courage in diverse traditions

On 18-19 July, 35 young leaders from 14 countries across Asia – part of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) Youth in Asia Training in Religious Amity (YATRA) – travelled to the Indonesian city of Bandung to meet with faith leaders and young activists engaged in interreligious dialogue and work.

Interreligious youth training programme adopts online learning component

The World Council of Churches' (WCC) popular YATRA (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity) programme has a new online learning component that adds four weeks of intensive training to two weeks of residential learning. When 35 young men and women from 14 different countries meet at the Jakarta Theological Seminary in Indonesia on 8 July, they will already have a familiarity with the major religious traditions found in Asia, thanks to their online studies.

Young people gather for peacebuilding in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

As young people from across the world gathered for a three-week Interreligious Summer School at the World Council of Churches (WCC ) Bossey Ecumenical Institute, they heard inspiring greetings about interreligious dialogue from people who encouraged them to contribute to issues of religious pluralism and intercultural acceptance in a society based on migration and globalization.

Young people explore role as “ambassadors of peace” during Cairo seminar

“I have an absolute confidence in your youthful and great enthusiasm and your heightened state of awareness that you will be ambassadors of peace, mercy and cooperation among all peoples.” This message, from Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, visibly uplifted and inspired young people attending a seminar, “Youth Engagement, Religion and Violence,” in Cairo this week.

Seminar will address youth engagement, religion and violence

Forty young people from 14 countries will meet this week in Cairo for a seminar entitled “Youth Engagement, Religion and Violence.” From 18 to 22 August, participants from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East will focus on topics such as the impact of religious discourse on contributions to peace-building versus creating violent tensions.

Taizé - Living Ecumenism

Well over 250 young people came to Taizé from 30 August to 6 September 2015 to participate in the first theological symposium on “Brother Roger's Contribution to Theological Thought”. Those invited to this time of reflection and sharing were theological students and young theologians under the age of 40 engaged in research as well as those preparing for service in the church or those already involved in ministry. A wide range of speakers from all over the world aroused a great deal of interest, with contributions offered from a Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic viewpoint, coming from Western and Eastern Europe as well as from Asia, North America, Latin America and Africa.

New departure in Taizé towards an ecumenism of solidarity

In Taizé, the week-long Gathering for a New Solidarity, for solidarity with the poor and excluded, reached its climax on the weekend of 15-16 August. The ecumenical community is celebrating in 2015 the seventy-fifth anniversary of its foundation by Roger Schutz, as well as the one hundredth anniversary of his birth (on 12 August 1915). Also 16 August was the tenth anniversary of his death.

Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth promote dialogue for peace

Young participants in a WCC interfaith summer course representing Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions hope to make a strong contribution towards dialogue in their home countries. Dialogue can break down stereotypes and build up peaceful communities, they say.

Young Christian leaders from Asia begin “YATRA” in Cambodia

Exploring realities of multi-religious societies and discovering new ways of working together as faith communities to promote justice and peace, young Christian leaders from Asia have gathered in Cambodia to take part in a two-week training programme called Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity (YATRA).