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Rev. Frank Chikane: “You can’t do unity at the expense of justice”

When Rev. Frank Chikane was leading the South African Council of Churches in calling out injustices of the apartheid system, their work did not stop even after the council’s office building was bombed to the ground in 1980s. Moderating the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches (WCC) since 2016, Rev. Chikane has been engaged in addressing injustices in many parts of the world. WCC Communication asked Rev. Chikane to look back at his term at the commission and the ongoing calling of churches to address injustices in the world today.

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.

Christmas ‘cancelled’ in Burkina Faso, in aftermath of extremist attacks

Simultaneous attacks by extremist insurgents on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province in the north of Burkina Faso resulted in the deaths of 35 civilians – almost all of them women – as well as seven soldiers. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has declared 48 hours of national mourning, and all Christmas celebrations have been cancelled.

South Sudan Council of Churches presents new website for peace

On 5 April, the South Sudan Council of Churches officially presented its new website through a slideshow featuring photos from the site reflecting the idea of embracing peace. Several heads of churches attended to express their support for the council and its latest mode of strengthening communication with its members and with peace supporters across the globe.

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.

Doing his best without being the best

Last week, the chairperson of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, bishop Arnold Temple from The Methodist Church Sierra Leone, came to Stockholm to participate in the World Water Week, which is the world’s leading annual water event where experts and decision-makers from all over the world gather to strengthen the systems and processes that govern access to – and protection of – fresh water.

Tveit in DRC: “Making peace is holy work”

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, as head of a delegation visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), offered a sermon on 19 August encouraging peacemakers during an ecumenical service in the Protestant Cathedral in Kinshasa.

Praying and voting goes together

When Zimbabwe holds general elections on 30 July, the turnout at the polls will most likely be – at least somewhat – affected by the IprayIvote-web and social media campaign, which was launched by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches on 30 January this year, exactly six months prior to the election.

WCC-UNICEF partnership vital for children in Tanzania

At the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, held in Tanzania in March, WCC communications interviewed Rene van Dongen, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Representative. Van Dongen spoke about Churches’ Commitments to Children, which is now supported by more than 200 churches and partners worldwide. The initiative was created when the WCC and UNICEF facilitated a broad consultative process around the question ‘How can churches use their influence to improve children’s lives?’

Film recognized for highlighting human rights in DRC

The feature-length documentary “Maman Colonelle,” directed by Dieudo Hamadi, has received the Human Rights Award 2017 from the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), and SIGNIS, a worldwide association of Catholic communicators.

Walking together against hatred and violence

When more than 100 religious leaders and other actors from around the world gathered at the UN in Vienna in mid-February, it was a manifestation of unity between religious and non-religious organizations, and a genuine commitment to cooperate in dealing with hate speech and incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes.

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

Nigerian breaks down stereotypes on Muslims

For Nigerian Nwankpa Kenneth Chinedu, attending a course on peacebuilding in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Geneva opened his eyes and helped eliminate stereotypes and myths he had built in his mind about Muslims.

Ecumenical youth on the move – through GETI with visions for the future

“We’ve seen in the case of refugees, how the church takes a strong standpoint in welcoming those who have fled. But it isn’t always so easy in the congregations. There are many who feel fear, as we receive not only refugees but sometimes also people of other faiths. In this case, we can see a gap between what the church says, and what is actually lived.”