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Workshop addresses human rights in Australia

Climate change, the rights of asylum seekers and indigenous issues were amongst human rights concerns raised during a 2-day workshop organised by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of Churches on International Affairs and the National Council of Churches of Australia in Brisbane on 24-25 February. The workshop, which included representatives from the Uniting Church, Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, The Salvation Army, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Queensland Churches Together and the Anglican Board of Mission, took place in the context of the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Australia by the United Nations Human Rights Council later this year.

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.

Common prayer in Geneva responds to acts of violence

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 was to have been the principal focus of the service of Sunday morning prayer on 15 November in the cathedral church of Saint-Pierre at the summit of Geneva’s old town. Following terror attacks in Beirut and Paris killing and wounding hundreds of civilians over the preceding days, the prayers of the Protestant Church of Geneva and the WCC Executive Committee took on a new dimension.

WCC commission leadership selected

At the Central Committee meeting of the WCC, leadership of the Council’s consultative bodies was announced. These bodies will steer through the work of the WCC in accomplishing the call from its 10th Assembly to engage in a “pilgrimage of justice and peace”. The WCC assembly was held in the Republic of Korea in 2013.

Assembly renews churches’ commitment towards justice and peace

The WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, concluded on 8 November, acting to inspire churches to renew their commitments to justice and peace. Through varied encounters and dialogue within the fellowship of churches, the Assembly has made concrete decisions and recommendations setting priorities for the future work of the WCC.

Churches ask Philippine government to improve human rights record

In a public hearing at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, church activists from the Philippines criticized the Aquino government for not being able to improve the situation regarding human rights violations, citing an increased number of victims of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, as well as evictions in the country. Â

WCC active at UN Conference to review control of small arms trade

A multi-religious prayer service and a debate on ethical dilemmas in micro-disarmament are being organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) within the framework of the UN Review Conference on the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons taking place in New York from 26 June - 7 July 2006.