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As transboundary water dispute over Nile River worsens, WCC calls for prayers for peace

As tension grows in the long-running regional dispute over a giant dam built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, one of the Nile Rivers main tributaries, World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary, Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca appealed to all WCC member churches in Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and around the world to pray for a peaceful solution to the problem.

South Hebron Hills families share stories of life under occupation

Jack Munayer, coordinator for the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI), recently visited the South Hebron Hills area with diplomatic delegates from eight different countries, as well as Israeli activists. The visit was organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The group visited families and listened to their stories with the goal of discerning the nature of hardship and trauma that the occupation continues to cause.

Bedouins of Pope’s Hill fight eviction

East of Jerusalem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Bedouin community has lived on Pope’s Hill since the creation of Israel in 1948, when they were evicted from their lands in the Negev and arrived there as refugees.

Will children ever have safe access to education in Khan Al-Ahmar?

Khan Al-Ahmar is a Bedouin community of around 200 people whose main livelihood has been traditional farming of sheep and goats for consumption in the village, and for selling the milk, yogurt and meat. The closest village, Bethany, is 14 km away and, until recently, the women would take the dairy products to sell in the Jerusalem market, 19 km away. The children had an important role in the economy, herding the flocks, but they also went to school.

Palestinian Christian peace worker yearns for courageous leaders

As the WCC olive harvest initiative in 2020 drew to a close in early December, WCC News met with Nora Carmi, a Christian Palestinian who has worked for peace and justice her whole life, to hear her perspective on the situation in the holy land today, and the role of faith in sustaining hope.

In Palestine, “God honored this olive tree”

“Just as you cannot live without water, olive oil is the same for us—and the olive tree is our life,” explains a smiling Abu-Issa under an awe-inspiring 13-meter olive tree. Its umbrella of branches extends over the al-Walaja hills, just north of Bethlehem.

WCC to UN: Human rights violations in West Bank, East Jerusalem must stop

In a letter co-addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations special rapporteur on situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory, the World Council of Churches expressed concern over the high rates of human rights violations and violence currently taking place in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

‘Not a page in a book’ – accompaniers hear Palestinians’ testimonies from Ma’alul village

Ma’alul, a Palestinian village destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, saw a visit by ecumenical accompaniers in mid-March. “I would have liked to invite you to a real home, not just as a refugee,” said Jad Saba Yusef Salem as he received the group of accompaniers to the village. Today, 95-year-old Salem is one of few remaining survivors from the 75 families who used to live in the village back in 1948.

Fr Alexi - a peacemaker in Syria

WCC News met with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr Alexi Chehadeh, who leads the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East in Damascus, Syria. He is an impressive role model and peacemaker in Syria.

“Humanitarian Corridors” open for Syrians fleeing Lebanon

On 27 March, a hug between a 7-year-old girl, Majida, and her grandmother reflected the bright light of possibility that the ecumenical Humanitarian Corridors project continues to bring to refugees arriving in Italy. The child was waiting with other family members at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome as her grandmother arrived, safely and legally, in Italy from Lebanon.