An ecumenical church delegation witnessed last week a war-ravaged South Ossetia where whole neighborhoods had been razed or torched during their visit nearly a month after the war.
Members of the World Council of Churches paid Russian and Georgian Christian communities a visit on Sept 3-7, with the South Ossetia trip taking place in the latter half of the trip. The first sight they saw when they reached South Ossetia were villages that were destroyed house by house.
They also saw incidents of looting and arson, as well as carloads of people presumed to be vigilantes. more >>
A delegation from the World Council of Churches began its five-day visit to member churches in Georgia and Russia on Wednesday with the goal to facilitate harmony between the two Christian communities despite their countries’ current political conflict.
"We expect this visit to encourage Christians in both countries to keep talking to each other and praying for each other," said Elenora Giddings Ivory, WCC director of Public Witness and Global Advocacy.
"If Christians in Georgia and Russia manage not to allow the divide between their countries to separate them, they may help their governments to move towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict." more >>
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 >>