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Religious leaders uniting for climate peace in solidarity with refugees, boost UN conference

The moment religious leaders from around 40 faith-based organisations worldwide agreed to keep defending the individual right to seek asylum during a gathering in Geneva marked a high point on the eve of the Global Refugee Forum, the world's biggest such international gathering.They met at a one-day event on 12 December at the World Council of Churches (WCC), chaired by an Armenian archbishop and a UN diplomat who was once a Turkish legislator.

Statement: Religious Leaders Unite for Climate Peace in Solidarity with Refugees

Reinforcing the traditional role of faith communities in offering sanctuary and, indeed hospitality to refugees, 90 faith-based leaders today committed to offering their continued and additional support to refugees, including children, on their journey to safety, including in reception and admission, meeting protection or service delivery needs and supporting communities to find solutions such as private sponsorship or scholarship programmes.

Ecumenical movement

WCC reflects on women’s transformative leadership at international conference on innovation in Africa

Prof. Ezra Chitando, World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy regional coordinator for Southern Africa, presented on behalf of WCC deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, a paper on Womens Transformative Leadership and Africas Holistic Development: The Role of the Churches” during an international conference on leadership transformation and innovation in Africa.

Faith(s) Seeking Justice

Dialogue and Liberation

Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the WCC’s Programme on Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, this volume celebrates a common confidence that dialogue can be linked to liberation in ways that can be both faithful and fruitful.

From the Introduction: “The heartbeat of this book is its concern to reimagine interreligious dialogue as a “dialogue of and for life” by interlinking it with liberation. What drives it is a passion that seeks to hold together two distinct concerns that emerged within theological thinking during the latter half of the 20th century and have since freed theological imagination in manifold ways.”

WCC sends greetings to Buddhist friends during festival of Vesak

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca shared cordial greetings to Buddhist friends across the world observing the festival of Vesak. May the values of compassion, loving kindness, empathy and equanimity taught by Gautama Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and death you commemorate on this auspicious occasion, continue to inspire and guide you during this time of pandemic,” wrote Sauca. We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and widespread suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Message of the WCC acting general secretary on Vesak 2021

World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca shared cordial greetings to Buddhist friends across the world observing the festival of Vesak. May the values of compassion, loving kindness, empathy and equanimity taught by Gautama Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and death you commemorate on this auspicious occasion, continue to inspire and guide you during this time of pandemic,” wrote Sauca. We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and widespread suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

General Secretary

Gemeinsame interreligiöse Erklärung zum 75. Jahrestag der Atombombenabwürfe von Hiroshima und Nagasaki

Als umfassende Vereinigung von Glaubensgemeinschaften aus der ganzen Welt haben wir uns verpflichtet, mit einer Stimme zu sprechen, die die existenzielle Bedrohung der Menschheit durch Atomwaffen ablehnt. Wir bekräftigen erneut, dass das Vorhandensein auch nur einer einzigen Atomwaffe gegen die grundlegenden Prinzipien unserer verschiedenen Glaubenstraditionen verstößt und alles, was uns lieb und teuer ist, durch unvorstellbare Zerstörung bedroht.

Ecumenical movement

Joint Interfaith Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

As a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world, we have committed to speaking
with one voice that rejects the existential threat to humanity that nuclear weapons pose. We reaffirm that the presence of even one nuclear weapon violates the core principles of our different faith traditions and threatens the unimaginable destruction of everything we hold dear.

Ecumenical movement

Vesak Day commemorated at the UN

A virtual event on “The Contribution of Buddhism to Peace” was organised to mark the International Vesak Day at the United Nations on 7 May. The event was organised by the International Buddhist Foundation in Geneva (IBF), an interreligious partner of the World Council of Churches (WCC), under the leadership of its president Ven. Halyale Wimalaratne, in collaboration with the permanent missions of Sri Lanka and Thailand. Inaugurated by H.E.Tatiana Valovaya, Director General of the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG), the event drew Permanent Representatives and Deputy Permanent Representatives of more than 40 countries.

Latest issue of Current Dialogue tackles diverse themes

The latest issue of Current Dialogue tackles diverse themes ranging from Jain approaches to religious plurality to the elimination of nuclear weapons. Marrying theory to practice, it seeks to throw light on the foundations for interreligious engagement of particular religious traditions while also highlighting the various challenges that communities of faith face in contemporary contexts across the world.