South Korea’s Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders have together declared 2009 as the Year of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The Catholic bishops’ Committee for Promoting Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue and the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) announced last week that South Korean churches will hold ecumenical activities such as prayer services, forums and exchanges throughout this year.
“During 2009 we hope all Christians in Korea find their mission to be ‘salt and light’ in the world,” said the Christian leaders in a joint statement released at the press conference on Dec. 29, according to the Union of Catholic Asian News. more >>
Christian leaders across denominational lines are signing onto an ecumenical letter that urges President-elect Barack Obama to make Israel-Palestinian peace a priority in his incoming administration.
“The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has gone on for too long. It has caused untold suffering for both sides, created economic hardships, and provided a rallying cry for extremists,” the letter signed by 40 U.S. Christian leaders read.
“As people of faith and hope, we believe peace is possible,” it stated. “Majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians continue to support a negotiated solution based on two secure and sovereign states as the best way to end this tragic conflict.” more >>
Leaders of two dozen U.S. churches will call on President-elect Barack Obama to lead the nation towards peace and justice this week during the annual meeting of the United States Conference for the World Council of Churches (WCC), which begins on Tuesday.
Citing Obama’s campaign promise of hope and change, the Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, WCC President from North America, said the Council’s member churches in the United States are “eager” to share a “special word” with the president-elect that outlines hopes that the nation will move away from the current context of “war and want and waste.”
The meeting will address, among other issues, the ethical dimensions of climate change and the ecumenical involvement in Middle East peace-making. more >>
Six well-known ecumenical organizations banded together to call for the protection of the right to life, dignity and democracy of the people of Zimbabwe on Friday.
The general secretaries of the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the World YMCA, the World Student Christian Federation and the World Alliance of YMCA’s issued a joint statement calling for the protection of right to life and dignity of all Zimbabweans and “for adherence to democratic principles and processes in the mediation process and a return of the rule of law inside Zimbabwe.”
Leaders issued the statement because they were “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) summit on Nov. 9 that failed to address the growing humanitarian crisis and challenge the illegitimate power of the current government. more >>
The National Council of Churches USA held its annual General Assembly this week in Denver where topics of discussion ranged from Christian unity to racial justice.
Under the theme “Jesus Said … Whoever is Not Against You is For You,” the three-day meeting that closed on Thursday focused on overcoming divisions in the secular world as well as within the Christian body.
Prominent theologian Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of Religion at Columbia University in New York, gave the message for the opening session on Tuesday. more >>
Representatives from across the denominational spectrum gathered in Delhi for the last four days to hash out a plan for the Global Christian Forum over the next three years.
The Global Christian Forum program, which opened on Saturday, took as its main focus the recommendations of last year's forum in Limuru, Kenya, and the reports of the evaluation process from 1998 to 2007 as delegates reflected on the needs of the global church and its vision for reaching out to people in the 21st century.
The gathering brought together 60 representatives of the historic Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Evangelical movements to share their future goals and participate in forum discussions on nurturing a broader ecumenical movement. more >>