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Hope prevails in times of crisis in Lebanon

The fatal blast in Beirut last month became yet another blow to an already plagued country. In recent months, a financial crisis with a free-falling currency and rising unemployment has further undermined the Lebanese economy. Add to that one million Syrian refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contours of a fragile nation facing monumental challenges emerge.

WCC leader reflects on antisemitism, definitions and future cooperation

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) met formally on 25-27 June in Paris, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today”. This meeting took place at a time of significant challenges in public and religious life for many communities around the world. At the meeting Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, presented the WCC policies on antisemitism and the WCC’s work for human rights for all. The WCC News met with him after the meeting.

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.

Film “Tel Aviv on Fire” wins Interfilm award

At the 75th International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, the film “Tel Aviv on Fire” won an Interfilm award for promoting interreligious dialogue. The film, directed by Sameh Zoabi, is a comedy in which a Palestinian writer draws upon the skills and experiences of an Israeli checkpoint commander to enhance a TV series, “Tel Aviv on Fire.”

Broken glass of hope grown out of rubble

Originally, they were made of pieces of broken glass from the rubble an Israeli tank left behind it when it slammed into the giftshop at the International Centre of Bethlehem (ICB) in 2002. Today the glass angels of peace are made of used bottles and have emerged into a small business enterprise employing around 50 people in the Bethlehem area. Since the tank-incident, thousands of angels have been produced and sold worldwide.

Faces of Hope raises awareness

A little more than a year ago Rev. Stacey Duensing went on a trip to Israel-Palestine together with her denomination, the Reformed Church in America. She returned home to the United States with a different perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A perspective she wanted to share with a broader public audience.

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.

WCC Executive Committee to convene in Amman

The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee will meet in Amman, Jordan from 17-23 November to approve the 2018 plans and budget, prepare for renewal of the WCC strategic plan, to discern the way forward for the WCC’s involvement in Palestine and Israel for justice and peace 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, will welcome the group.

Tveit: “We believe in one God that has created one humanity to live together with its diversity and differences”

Speaking at the Al-Azhar International Peace Conference on 27-28 April in Egypt, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Pope Francis and WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit address topics of misinterpretation of religious text, the culture of peace in religion, and global peace and how it is affected by poverty, illness and exploitation.

Islam and Christianity: finding the common ground

Linked to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue organized a side event on 15 March exploring "Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working jointly towards equal citizenship rights". World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was among the panellists.

In Lebanon, refugees face hardship - but find hope

The fifteenth of March 2017, marks the sixth year since the start of the Syrian war.
Lebanon, being a small Middle Eastern country facing constant political and national unity challenges with a population of approximately 450,000 Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, has been the shelter for more than 2 million registered Syrian refugees since 2011.

“There are no strangers here” – Saint Irenaeus a key to unity?

How can the early founding fathers of the church inform us as Christians in the 21st century, what stands at the centre of their theology, and how can we continue to envision a future of unity in the church? The questions were numerous as scholars, students and theologians met at the Anaphora Institute near Cairo, Egypt, to explore the theme of “Saint Irenaeus and Enlightened Humanity” on 14-16 December.

Dialogue flourishes between WCC, Muslim Council of Elders

The Grand Imam of Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and university, Prof. Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb, will visit the WCC to give a public lecture and participate in high-level dialogue on interreligious peacemaking. “We are honoured to welcome one of the world’s highest-ranking and most influential Muslim leaders to Geneva, and I very much look forward to his lecture and to sharing views with him on the many challenges that we as religious persons and leaders face together,” says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

WCC general secretary reflects on peace in Palestine and Israel

The WCC is committed to a just peace in Palestine and Israel with a view that this conflict is about justice with deep moral dimensions that must be given proper weight by all if we are to reach a lasting solution. Religion can both contribute to the increase of the level of conflict, or help establish peace. Read the interview with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.