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Programme to Combat Racism began during apartheid, but xenophobia fight still churches’ focus

When the World Council of Churches (WCC) launched the Programme to Combat Racism after years of in-depth theological reflections and prayer in 1971, South Africa's insidious racist apartheid policies were in full throw. The programme brought the WCC into the world's spotlight. Yet racism did not start 50 years ago. And it did not end with the casting out of apartheid at the end of the 20th century. During that era, figures such as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela fought racism in society and the church.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

Indigenous Peoples and the Economy of Life: Spirituality, Land, and Self-Determination

22 April 2021

As part of the New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA) initiative, the World Council of Churches together with the World Communion of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Methodist Council and Council for World Mission will be hosting a webinar highlighting the voices of Indigenous Peoples and their understandings of the Economy of Life.  

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith: From a Christian Pan African perspective, “who writes the stories?”

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith is senior associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World. She also serves on the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee. She recently participated in a rally and march in Washington, DC, where thousands gathered to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963 that included Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream" speech.

“Voices from the fellowship” speak strongly for racial justice

Voices from the World Council of Churches (WCC) global fellowship are speaking out strongly against racism and for justice in an ongoing show of solidarity and action. These voices are amplifying the idea of a “conversion that will end all forms of racism and racial discrimination” set forth in a 3 June World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee Statement on Racial Justice in the USA.

Easter at home: celebrations still bring joy thanks to creative delivery

As Christians across the world prepare to celebrate Easter shuttered in their homes, they will still find the joy of the day and feel closer to each other, thanks to creative thinking by church leaders.

From including photos of church members within webcast worship services, to placing written greetings at doorways, Easter celebrations can still safely connect people who want to celebrate the resurrection of their common Lord.

Leaders of five Christian World Communions attend ecumenical prayer service

(LWF Communication) – An ecumenical prayer service in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, United States, marked the opening of a four-day consultation of five Christian World Communions discussing the historic importance of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) and its impact on the search for full, visible unity of the church.

Young theologian calls for revolutionary reform of mission

“Is our notion of discipleship inclusive of those who exist in the marginal spaces of our world?”, asked Adi Mariana Waqa, the keynote speaker of a plenary on the theme of mission from the margins at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME).

Mission conference panel explores dialogue with open societies

“The truth we are all sharing with the world is a living truth coming out of the life of people, it is not a dead dogma”, said Prof. Dr Dimitra Koukoura, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, during a panel held at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME).

“The work of truth-telling has to happen”

At a “Hearing on Racism, Discrimination, Afrophobia and Xenophobia” held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 25 September, speakers reflected, lamented and, at times, simply sat in silence as they considered the experience of people of African descent in the USA.

Orthodox bishops in USA condemn racist violence

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, on 18 August, released a response condemning recent racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The bishops lamented the loss of life, and condemned “shameful efforts” to promote racial bigotry and white supremacist ideology.

Presbyterian leaders: racism in USA is “pernicious poison”

In an open letter on 28 August, former moderators of the general assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its predecessor churches expressed their increasing alarm when notions of nationalism and racial superiority are masked and clothed in terms of the Christian faith.

Blanket Exercise uncovers deep injustices in Canadian history

The report issued by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June 2015 on abuse of aboriginal children in church-run residential schools included a call for non-aboriginal Canadians to learn about the impact of European settlers and their descendants on the country’s indigenous peoples. Church people have taken that call seriously.

Seminar explores music as bridge between cultures

Music can be a key resource in building truly multicultural congregations and communities, found participants at a seminar, “Music and Cultures,” organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 30 October to 2 November in Quebec, Canada.

Eco-justice at stake for Standing Rock people in USA

The Episcopal Church in North Dakota, in an open letter dated 25 October 2016 and penned by Rev. John Floberg, called on communities of faith to converge at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, USA from 2-4 November to “stand witness to water protectors’ acts of compassion for God's creation, and to the transformative power of God's love to make a way out of no way.”