Christian advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons said Tuesday that they were encouraged by the commitment of Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev to slash nuclear stockpiles by about a third though some pointed out that the move is not enough.
“It is heartening that the leaders of the United States and Russia have now made a preliminary agreement and public commitment to achieve specific cuts in each country's stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons,” expressed the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. more >>
The committee responsible for finding the World Council of Churches’ next general secretary has announced the selection of two candidates who will vie to lead the ecumenical church body.
After three days of interviews and thorough discussions, the committee decided by consensus to propose the Rev. Dr Park Seong-won of the Presbyterian Church of Korea and the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit of the Church of Norway (Lutheran) for election by the Central Committee during its meeting in August 2009.
"The search committee worked in a good spirit of cooperation and Christian fellowship,” reported Dr. Agnes Abuom, the moderator of the search committee, which this week interviewed six “highly qualified candidates” identified at its last meeting in April. more >>
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrated the Pentecost on Sunday, one week after their Western counterparts had.
Pentecost, which in Greek means “the fiftieth day,” is celebrated seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter if the Easter day is counted.
For Eastern Orthodox Christians, Pentecost this year fell on June 7, based on the Julian calendar. For Western churches, who calculate Easter based on the Gregorian calendar, Pentecost this year fell on May 31. more >>
The Day of Pentecost was marked by Christians around the world Sunday except for those who will be celebrating the date this coming Sunday.
Because Christians of the Western tradition had marked Easter this year on April 12, they marked Pentecost on May 31 – 7 weeks after Easter. Christians in the Eastern Orthodox Church, meanwhile, had marked Easter on April 19 and therefore will mark Pentecost on June 7.
But the hope remains that that one day all Christians will celebrate Easter (and consequently Pentecost) on the same date – aside from the coincidental overlaps between the Julian calendar followed by Orthodox churches and the Gregorian calendar followed by Western churches. more >>
Former president Jimmy Carter delivered the closing address at a diverse gathering of Baptists over the weekend, and urged them to come together to help the people of America in their time of need.
During his address Saturday at the Southeast regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant, Carter said the shared faith in Jesus Christ should be enough reason for Christians to unite and that other divisive issues need to be put aside if they stand in the way of unity.
Disharmony among Christians, he said, “is like a cancer metastasizing in the body of Christ.” more >>
Church leaders from around the world heard real stories of injustice based on India’s caste system at a conference in Bangkok this week, where several leaders issued strong statements against the ancient system of discrimination.
“Governments that exclude a whole section of [their] own citizens – or allow them to be so treated – are incompetent to govern," wrote the Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, in a statement read out at the conference on his behalf, according to the World Council of Churches. "And members of the international community that know but ignore the issue are accomplices to the systemic violations of human rights resulting from this unjust system."
The Global Ecumenical Conference on Justice for Dalits, held on March 21-24, examined the 3,500-year-old caste system that continues to be practiced despite India’s constitution guaranteeing equal rights for all. The conference was organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in partnership with the Christian Conference of Asia. more >>