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Vatican conference and ecumenical echoes on nuclear arms and human development Vatican conference and ecumenical echoes on nuclear arms and human development
A ground-breaking pontifical critique of nuclear weapons affirms the new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. By linking possession and use, Pope Francis is offering a new standard for Catholic debate over nuclear weapons. By offering it now, the pope is making a moral affirmation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted at the United Nations in July. The new treaty--which bans the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons--is cited in this year’s Nobel Peace Prize award to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The World Council of Churches is a member of ICAN and shares the same moral and spiritual critique of nuclear armaments.
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For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem
I sometimes ask people if they know which is the first point in the Bible that Bethlehem gets a mention. And that normally offers them quite a challenge. People certainly move back from the New Testament into the Old – and come up with responses like, ‘the story of David’, or ‘the Book of Ruth’. Good thinking. But actually the first mention of Bethlehem in our Bibles (as they are now set out) occurs much earlier still.
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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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Faith in action: for access equity rights now Faith in action: for access equity rights now
Why should people of faith get engaged in AIDS2016? - The first time I took part in the International AIDS Conference was in Mexico in 2008. I was overwhelmed and fascinated. I was impressed by the large number of people HIV could mobilize, and yet I knew many people around the world had no idea of the difference between HIV and AIDS, and even worse, many did not want to know about it.
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I’ve rediscovered pilgrimage! I’ve rediscovered pilgrimage!
I grew up in the south of England. And many of the places I loved to explore had names that revealed a lost history. I went for walks along paths that were called the ‘Pilgrims Way’. Sometimes I would explore the ruins of of a long closed convent. I lived in a road called Friar’s Gate, and the local beer came from a brewery called The Friary. But there were no pilgrims walking the way anymore.
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Hungry for food, hungry for justice, hungry for peace Hungry for food, hungry for justice, hungry for peace
October 16 is the World Food Day, and from October 15 to October 21, we celebrate the Churches' Week of Action on Food. So it is an appropriate time to reflect on the scandal and the shame that each night, one person in nine of all humanity goes to sleep hungry. 38 million more people than the previous year are hungry, bringing the number up to 815 million, reversing the 10-year trend of gradual reduction in hunger.
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Faith on public trial Faith on public trial
Last weekend, as I watched the terrible scenes from Charlottesville, Va., my heart was deeply troubled, often full of anger, and distraught at what I was seeing. Sunday morning our choir performed Brandon Boyd’s arrangement of “Jacob’s Ladder.” We were privileged to have Brandon Boyd, a young, gifted African-American composer, with us accompanying the choir. His version includes a moving solo with the words, “Is there anybody here who loves my Jesus?” I reflected that those words are what many African Americans were asking in Charlottesville—words their ancestors had sung since they arrived in slave ships.
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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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Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC
I was standing in the control booth at the back of the auditorium when the moderator of the WCC Central Committee declared the 9th Assembly open, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 14 February 2006. My friend Jean-Nicolas Bazin and I were surrounded by light and sound technicians and we had our eyes on the script of the opening plenary, making sure everything was flowing smoothly and according to plan.
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The water we “eat” The water we “eat”
The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has been observing World Water Day since its inception. It is an important occasion for all those working on water issues, including the WCC, to highlight the global water crisis. Particularly the Lenten campaign of the WCC, the “Seven Weeks for Water”, is an opportunity to galvanise its constituencies to discuss issues around water.
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