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In Asia, COVID-19 “is a spotlight exposing fault lines” of injustice

With each wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities have been experiencing collective trauma that has further deepened the injustices, including racism and economic inequity,” said Rev. Dr Sang Chang, World Council of Churches (WCC) president for Asia, during an online consultation, organised by the WCC and the Christian Conference of Asia on 4 June.

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.

The imperative to go back to the ecumenical basics

Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, was asked about the WCC executive committee meeting held on 17-23 May 2021. The WCC executive committee set a tone of hope for the future while, at the same time, addressing multiple global crises with statements, pastoral messages, and calls for prayer.

The transition to online programming and prayers during COVID-19 has challenged the WCC, and the rest of the world, Abuom found, and said is a heavy burden” on all in the ecumenical family as the WCC prepares for its 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany next year.

Inclusive communication: “words change the world”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Communication has published new internal guidelines to ensure inclusive and accessible communication. In the recent past, WCC communication has been stepping up efforts to have a more inclusive and accessible communication. One example is that the development of the new WCC website took into consideration accessibility needs of persons with disabilities. Another example: the WCC has been testing sign language interpreta-tion in webinars. In 2021, the communication team explored even more ways to ensure our communication work is inclusive and maintains high accessibility as we prepare for the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe—and beyond. All this necessitated the need to have guidelines for inclusive and accessible communication.    

WCC sends greetings to Buddhist friends during festival of Vesak

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca shared cordial greetings to Buddhist friends across the world observing the festival of Vesak. May the values of compassion, loving kindness, empathy and equanimity taught by Gautama Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and death you commemorate on this auspicious occasion, continue to inspire and guide you during this time of pandemic,” wrote Sauca. We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and widespread suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Message of the WCC acting general secretary on Vesak 2021

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca shared cordial greetings to Buddhist friends across the world observing the festival of Vesak. May the values of compassion, loving kindness, empathy and equanimity taught by Gautama Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and death you commemorate on this auspicious occasion, continue to inspire and guide you during this time of pandemic,” wrote Sauca. We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and widespread suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

General Secretary