The world’s largest ecumenical body celebrated its 60th anniversary Friday afternoon in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the same church it had held its opening service decades ago.
Representatives of member churches gathered at the Nieuwe Kerk Church for “prayerful celebration” for the official founding of the World Council of Churches on Aug. 23, 1948.
At its founding, the WCC had only 147 member churches but now it has grown to 349 churches, denominations and church fellowships representing more than 560 million Christians worldwide. more >>
One of al-Qaeda’s more prominent members took a shot at Saudi Arabia’s king Monday, accusing him of wanting to “spawn a new religion” and issuing a call to kill him for having betrayed Islam.
In a video message posted on several Islamic websites, Afghanistan terrorist Abu Yahya al-Libi strongly criticized the recently-held inter-faith meeting that drew Islamic, Jewish, and Christian leaders to the city of Madrid.
"The Prophet (Muhammad) ordered us to drive unbelievers from the Arabian Peninsula,” he said, according to Italy-based Adnkronos International. “Today, the Saudi royal family is destroying our Islamic tenets by showing Muslims it is possible to spread Christian principles. more >>
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) welcomed this month’s decision by the Church of England General Synod to reaffirm its support for women bishops, claiming that the vote had immediately opened the way for stronger ecumenical ties between Lutheran and Anglican churches and "the fuller recognition and celebration of the gifts of women called to ministry."
In a statement released this past week, the Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the LWF, spoke positively of the experience of Lutheran churches with women bishops since the first consecrations in 1992.
It was, he said, "already clear that the leadership of women in all the roles of ordained ministry has been a blessing to those churches which have experienced it." more >>
Some of the world’s largest Christian organizations united together Thursday to urge Zimbabwe’s two rival political parties to immediately fix the country’s human rights and humanitarian problems as they begin power-sharing talks.
Leaders of the World Council of Churches, the World Student Christian Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the World Alliance of YWCA’s and the World Alliance of YMCA’s called Zimbabwe’s leaders to immediately end the political violence and human rights abuses that have caused millions of Zimbabweans to suffer.
Specifically, Zimbabwe’s leaders must lift the ban that has prevented humanitarian aid agencies and non-governmental organizations from working in the country despite the masses of people facing starvation. The parties must also end the post-election violence that has resulted in destroyed homes, injuries and deaths. more >>
Christians, Jews and Muslims will gather in Madrid later this month for what could be one of the highest profile interfaith meetings in recorded history.
The three-day conference, hosted by Saudi Arabia, aims to highlight the attendees’ shared heritage as children of Abraham and lists many prominent leaders and figures of faith including evangelist Franklin Graham, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and former Vice President Al Gore.
Also among the 200 prominent religious leaders will be major Jewish leaders including Rabbi David Rosen, the former chief rabbi of Ireland and head of the interfaith committee of the American Jewish Committee. more >>
The head of the Anglican Communion announced plans this week to hold a massive walk with hundreds of Anglican bishops and other religious leaders during the worldwide church denominations decennial gathering in July.
Some 600 archbishops and bishops, their spouses, and other U.K. religious leaders will walk together through central London on July 24 to express their commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) eight goals made by world leaders to cut world poverty in half by 2015, according to the Anglican Communion News Service.
The walk, organized by the Christian anti-poverty ministry Micah Challenge U.K., will culminate with a rally on the grounds of Lambeth Palace, the home and office of Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, who is first among equals in the 77-million member Anglican Communion. more >>