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Seven Weeks for Water 2024, week 1: Water for peace in the Middle East region

The first reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2024 series of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network is written by Dr Munib Younan,* bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and former president of the Lutheran World Federation. In this reflection, the author, as a Palestinian, in line with this year's theme of "leveraging water for peace,” reflects on Isaiah's promise of free water for the thirsty in the context of the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza that has worsened the water situation in Gaza to catastrophic levels.

WCC accompaniers return to the Holy Land to witness life under occupation

Six ecumenical accompaniers have returned to Palestine and Israel, resuming in-person operations for the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. Ecumenical accompaniers, who were evacuated beginning of October 2023, had been continuing their support and accompaniment online. 

WCC calls for immediate end to brutal violence in Gaza

As a year of exceptional and increasing conflict draws to a close, and as we pray for peace for all in 2024, “that prospect seems nowhere more remote than for the suffering and traumatized people of Gaza,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. 

Violence against Palestinians is rising in the West Bank

Despite the war, security concerns, and travel restrictions, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel and the WCC Jerusalem Office continue to operate. Ecumenical accompaniers have observed increasing violence against Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7. 

Ecumenical accompanier: “many Palestinians simply want to live a peaceful life”

Siad Ní Bhroin, from the EAPPI UK and Ireland team, served as an ecumenical accompanier in Bethlehem from 31 August to 7 October. The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel, based on an appeal from local church leaders to create an international presence in the country, accompanies the local people and communities, offering a protective presence and witnessing daily struggles and hopes. Below, a reflection on what she witnessed while in the field.

Blending local and global ecumenism in Asia

After being postponed twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 15th General Assembly of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) finally got underway in late September and early October 2023 in Kottayam, India. Under the theme "God, renew us in your spirit and restore the creation,” CCA member churches across Asia gathered to stake out the direction forward and evaluate accomplishments and challenges since the last assembly in 2015 in Jakarta. 

“They want to live without fear and constant harassment”

ire Ní Mheibhric, from Galway, Ireland, served as an ecumenical accompanier in the village of Tubas, in the West Bank, from 31 August to 7 October. She also previously served as an ecumenical accompanier in 2019 in Hebron. The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, based on an appeal from local church leaders to create an international presence in the country, accompanies the local people and communities, offering protective presence and witnessing their daily struggles and hopes. Below, Ní Mheibhric reflects on what she witnessed while in the field.

WCC-EAPPI relocates participants, adapts its work to new context of war

Following the outbreak of hostilities on 7 October – with a reported launch of thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel and the infiltration of southern Israel by Hamas gunmen, and an ensuing Israeli military response – the World Council of Churches (WCC) is adapting its work in the Holy Land to continue to support efforts for just peace.

WCC urgently appeals for immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is following closely the developments in Israel and Palestine since the outbreak of hostilities on 7 October, following the reported launch of thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel, and the infiltration of southern Israel by Hamas gunmen. Israel’s prime minister has declared that the country is at war.

Looking for light at the end of the tunnel

My experience with Israel’s Interior Ministry began more than 25 years ago, whereby I have been seeking an ID card for my wife who hails from the West Bank. I am a Palestinian from East Jerusalem and I have an Israeli ID card—which gives me the status of a foreign resident in the city of my ancestors and where I was born. 

Give me my life, let me live

Christine, 23, is from the West Bank. She met a young man from Jerusalem when she was studying at one of the Palestinian universities in the West Bank. As their emotions towards each other grew by time and a sincere love flourished into their hearts, they decided to get engaged. At this point, they didn’t think of any barriers that might stand in front of them.