Leaders from various faith groups around the world on Tuesday pledged to prioritize and strengthen their response to HIV and to end the stigma associated with the pandemic.
"As religious leaders we have to be just and honest and address the fact that a vast majority of those among us affected by HIV and AIDS belong to a faith community," said the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. "We have to provide leadership to uphold the inherent human dignity of all."
Tveit and representatives of some 40 religions just came out of the first-ever religious summit of high level leaders on the HIV response. The March 22-23 event took place in the Netherlands where participants – including Baha'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders – signed a personal commitment to action, vowing to "be clear in my words and actions that stigma and discrimination towards people living with or affected by HIV is unacceptable," according to The Associated Press. more >>
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches and the international director of the World Evangelical Alliance recently met to discuss their common concerns about efforts toward Christian unity.
The meeting between WCC's the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit and WEA's the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe was held last week at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva, Switzerland, where the WCC's headquarters is located.
It was the first meeting between the two bodies since the Global Christian Forum in Limuru, Kenya, in 2007. more >>
A Norwegian theologian was formally installed on Tuesday as the new head of the World Council of Churches.
During his installation service, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit pronounced "Nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" as his first unity call to the worldwide ecumenical fellowship.
"The cross is and will forever be the sign of the church," the new general secretary said. "This is the symbol that we have together, the symbol of what we have together, the symbol of what the churches have to give to the world. From the beginning to the end." more >>
NEW DELHI – Christians from the Church of North India on Friday kicked off a three-day program to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of their unity.
The Nov. 27-29 event marks "40 years of Unity, Witness and Service" of CNI, which is a union of Protestant churches that merged in 1970 in Nagpur.
"This is the time to celebrate thanking God for what He has done and asking forgiveness for what we have done. This is also the time to seek His direction to do what He wants us to do," said CNI General Secretary the Rev. Enos Das Pradhan in his keynote address. "It is necessary to introspect and retrospect so that we can work more effectively for His coming kingdom." more >>
It's difficult to rejoice, pray or even give thanks when facing the world today.
But Christians from a wide spectrum of churches were challenged to do just that.
"Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, rejoicing is naïve," Presbyterian theologian Dr. Margaret Aymer told an ecumenical group Tuesday, according to Presbyterian News Service. "Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, prayer is ineffectual. Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, giving thanks is learned powerlessness." more >>
The head of the World Council of Churches preached to a North Korean congregation Sunday, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and unity in a country known for its reclusiveness and for having the most heavily militarized border in the world.
By invitation of the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea, WCC General Secretary Dr. Samuel Kobia shared with the nearly 200 members of Bong Soon Church in Pyongyang the letter that the Apostle Paul had written to members of the new church in Corinth at a time when problems of divisions had emerged.
“There are two main learnings I want us to reflect on this morning,” said Kobia on the first day of a four-day visit. “The first is that we are called to take care of each other. The second is to recognize the need for nurturing the unity which is given to us by Jesus Christ.” more >>