“The World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly will be an opportunity for praying, listening and sharing together. The event will provide participants a chance to listen for the voice of God, leading them to justice and peace in the world.”
These were the words of Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC general secretary, who spoke with the press in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 29 January. Along with Prof. Dr Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee and moderator of the assembly planning committee, Rev. Dr Henriette Hutabarat Lebang, general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, and WCC staff members, Tveit is in Seoul finalizing plans for the WCC assembly.
The WCC 10th Assembly will be held from 30 October to 8 November this year in the Korean port city of Busan. At the press conference, Tveit introduced the WCC, its work and the theme of the assembly, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”.
He explained that the WCC is a worldwide fellowship of churches bringing together more than 560 million Christians globally, in more than 110 countries. He said that among its diverse membership are Protestant, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Anglican churches, while the WCC also works in cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church. “Through the WCC assembly, hosted by the Korean churches, we hope to respond to God’s calling for Christian unity and common witness in the world,” said Tveit.
“The WCC assembly in Korea,” Tveit said, “will make important statements on Christian unity, social issues, peace concerns for the Korean peninsula and global conflicts.” During his visit to Korea, Tveit will be meeting with several Korean church leaders. He is also scheduled to meet the Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
On Sunday evening, 27 January, Tveit preached at the Myung Sung Presbyterian Church in Seoul, which is one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in Korea. The worship service was attended by more than 12,000 people.
Dare to believe peace is coming, Tveit tells Korean congregations (WCC news release of 28 January 2013)
Jessie Fubara-Manuel shares her views on violence, the HIV pandemic and
struggles of women in churches to become part of the solution in Nigeria. She is a Presbyterian elder, a poet and a human resources consultant and has been involved with the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA) programme.
How do you see the HIV pandemic affecting communities in Nigeria?
In Nigeria today, we still have alarming numbers of persons testing HIV positive as we work toward the elimination of HIV infections, discrimination and HIV related deaths. With a large number of people still dying from the disease and the government’s efforts to provide free antiviral drugs being thwarted by the corruption in the system, worry about the disease has taken a new dimension. (more…)
Their challenge lies in keeping the arms trade open to militaries, police forces and other groups who are judged to use arms legally and responsibly, and closing the trade to those who don’t. Arms manufacturers, gun enthusiasts, as well as civil society organizations and churches are seeking to influence the outcome. (more…)
World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel
28 May – 3 June 2012
“Pray, educate, and advocate for justice in Palestine”
An initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations to join together in 2012 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.
As part of the most recent World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, from 29 May to 4 June 2011, churches in at least 21 countries around the world sent a clear signal to policy-makers, community groups, and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that ends the illegal occupation and secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples.
During World Week for Peace 2012, from 28 May to 3 June, participants are encouraged to plan their activities around the following three principles:
1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week.
2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to displacement.
3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.
This annual observance of a week of prayer, education, and advocacy calls participants to work for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine, so that Palestinians and Israelis can finally live in peace. It has been more than 63 years since the partition of Palestine hardened into a permanent nightmare for Palestinians. It is now more than 44 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples.
Yet the dream of one nation cannot be fulfilled at the expense of another. The action week’s message is that now:
- It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
- It’s time for freedom from occupation.
- It’s time for equal rights.
- It’s time for the healing of wounded souls.
To join the new World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel Facebook group, click here.
Pope Shenouda III, spiritual leader of the Egyptian Coptic Church since 1971 and a president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1991 to 1998, passed away of natural causes on Saturday 17 March. In a letter to the church dated 18 March, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit paid tribute to Pope Shenouda’s unwavering pursuit of Christian unity and peace throughout the Middle East and the world.
“As a leader he taught us that modesty is the best way to serve Christ,” wrote Tveit, noting that Shenouda is remembered as “a strong believer in Christian-Muslim conviviality and cooperation. His initiatives in the field of interreligious dialogue contributed to the unity of the Egyptian people.” (more…)
“Unity is neither a means nor an end,” he told assembled staff, visitors and governing body members of the WCC and other organizations in the Ecumenical Centre. “Unity is what God has given us in the church.”
The responsibility of Christians who receive the gift of unity, he continued, lies in “seeking a life in which no one is without the other.” This life, “constantly moving us forward into a further truth”, compels all who live within the love of God to ask the question: “Who is not yet here?” (more…)
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee recently issued a statement expressing concern over the escalation of violence in Tanah Papua, Indonesia. They urged the Indonesian authorities to stop the killings of civilians at the hands of armed forces and protect the rights of Papuan people. (more…)
The members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee have sent a pastoral message to the churches in Syria extending solidarity as they face enormous challenges due to the ongoing violence in the country. (more…)