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On World Refugee Day, closed doors or a welcome for the stranger? On World Refugee Day, closed doors or a welcome for the stranger?
One generally thinks of a pilgrimage as a journey undertaken voluntarily, in an attitude of reflection, peace and serenity, and with its objective or purpose being internal and spiritual. But on World Refugee Day (20 June), we may consider that the unprecedented numbers of refugees around the world are also embarked on their own pilgrimage of justice and peace. Though forcibly and unwillingly displaced by war, violence, oppression and deprivation, refugees are journeying away from insecurity towards safety, recognition of their plight, and ultimately the restoration of peace and the realization of justice.
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The Arms Trade Treaty, a stepping stone towards a more peaceful world The Arms Trade Treaty, a stepping stone towards a more peaceful world
Today, the 1st conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (24-27 August) commences in Cancun, Mexico. While the diplomats meet and talk, conflicts and armed violence fuelled by unregulated flows of weapons and ammunition will continue raging around the globe.
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Reviewing the “travel security warning” for the world Reviewing the “travel security warning” for the world
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel widely (and freely). I’ve explored and experienced many different corners of the world and moved relatively freely between countries with my magic passport. But always before travelling I am advised to check the countries “security warning” to make sure that it is safe to travel there. If it is considered a level-four country, I cannot travel to it. This got me thinking, what are the factors distinguishing the levels? War, violence, terrorist threats, political tension? And how can these levels change? Justice and Peace.
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What dazzles is inequality What dazzles is inequality
There is a financial wealth that goes beyond what we imagine, believe or are even able to understand, there is an economic system that devours lives and uses them as raw material for its insatiable appetite for growth and excessive development.
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Religious groups working for peace and love Religious groups working for peace and love
Teenagers pose lots of challenges for any parent. Emotional, rebellious, and subject to inevitable pressures, it is undoubtedly difficult to raise children who are transitioning from becoming children to adults. I am in this situation—I have three. As I reflect on their growing into individualized people, I can only hope that, once they embark on their respective paths, they live in a society that is peaceful and accepting.
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A dream across the barbed-wire fence A dream across the barbed-wire fence
A little girl, barely four years old, crawls underneath a barbed-wire fence at the Serbian-Hungarian border. Her face is straight as she glances ahead, irradiated by sunbeams; her fingers are cramped into the muddy soil. Hundreds of thousands refugees are on the move as I write these lines. A reality, which for so many in Europe these past years had remained remote, suddenly becomes close and subject of fierce controversies.
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What could the World Council of Churches do regarding global migration? What could the World Council of Churches do regarding global migration?
It's true: migration is a common phenomenon in human history. People have always been moving from one place to the other either forced by circumstances or by choice. However, in our post-colonial, post-cold-war world of globalization, with increased inequality both with in countries and between countries as well as with increased awareness and enhanced transport, the scale of human migration continues to grow every year.
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Children on the Move Children on the Move
"It is discouraging to see people flee because of war and persecution, and it is even more disheartening that children—the most vulnerable—are part of that terrible experience." Lidia Lebang shares her impressions from the World Children’s Day celebration held by the World Council of Churches and UNICEF at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva last week, and the differences big and small that Christians can make in the lives of individuals and of the community.
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On the road for life On the road for life
"Unterwegs für das Leben," on the road for life, was the name chosen for an initiative started by the women's work section of the Evangelical Church in Baden in the eighties. Christian women went walking together along the Rhine from Karlsruhe to Basel, going from place to place in order to collect signatures in opposition to the upgrading of armaments and to hand these over to the disarmament conference in Geneva. The walk was combined with evening peace prayer vigils held in local churches.
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Impressions from Iraq Impressions from Iraq
Returning from another visit to Iraq alongside Carla Khijoyan, the World Council of Churches' Middle East programme executive, and Fr Emanuel Youkhana of the Christian Aid Programme Northern Iraq (CAPNI), many images fill my mind: images of destruction, and of life hesitantly picking up again. Many uncertainties remain, prompting us to bend our heads and raise our prayers to the Lord.
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