World Council of Churches (WCC) deputy general secretary Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri joined the 64th General Conference and 70th Anniversary of the Christian Council of Mozambique in June. The gathering convened under the theme “God of love, guide us in the path of Reconciliation, Unity in Diversity, Justice and Peace.”
The target set by world leaders in 2016 to get 1.6 million children ages 0-14 living with HIV on treatment by 2018 was missed by a massive margin, according to a report issued on 16 July by UNAIDS.
Along Lake Geneva from 2-21 July, an exhibit, “Women in War,” highlighted the stories of women who were combatants, activists, mothers, leaders and survivors of war. The exhibit, developed by the International Committee of the Red Cross in collaboration with National Geographic, aimed to break the stereotypes that reduce women to the status of victim only, and to highlight the sometimes complex and difficult roles they have in wars.
Unrest in Venezuela, global warming and reduced funds are pertinent challenges facing the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC). Encompassing an area from Panama and Costa Rica in the west to The Lesser Antilles in the east, and from The Bahamas in the north to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana on the South American mainland in the south, the CCC is comprised of 33 member churches in a diverse region, where four official languages are spoken: Dutch, English, French and Spanish.
World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called on Israel to stop the illegal demolitions immediately. “Israeli authorities have demolished 16 Palestinian buildings, containing some 70 apartments, in Wadi Al-Hummus, in occupied East Jerusalem. This is against international law.” Over two hundred people have already been displaced in East Jerusalem this year.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel is reporting that nine homes in Wadi-Al-Hummus have been demolished, with at least two families forcibly removed from their homes, as observed by Ecumenical Accompaniers on site. Over 100 families were removed altogether and prior to the demolitions.
What might be termed “an authentic interreligious encounter” is also, more simply put, a question of what it means to belong. Eleven students at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Bossey Ecumenical Institute deeply explored this question as they completed a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Interreligious Studies course.
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.
In Southern Africa, faith communities are uniquely equipped with theological resources that allow them to effectively advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights. As faith leaders and theologians from diverse faith communities gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa from 15-17 July, they reflected on the theological resources that can galvanise the faith community to provide leadership. The workshop was organised by ACT Ubumbano in collaboration with Faith to Action Network.
Under the theme “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”, people of faith all over the world are encouraged to bear common witness by gathering in prayer and acts of support during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This yearly manifestation of solidarity and hope takes place 15 – 22 September and as usual it includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.