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Beyond herself Beyond herself
She was asked to lead us in prayers for the people of the Balkans, especially Kosovo and Albania. Before praying, she shared a bit of her story. It was an important story, for she was living in another European country and her story intermingled with others who could easily have slipped through the cracks.
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Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda
Before I was born and as I grew up, there were many gender stereotypes that negatively affected women and girls. These included beating wives and not appreciating baby girls. In my culture, girls were deprived of education, because taking them to school was considered a waste of resources. Parents and the general communities looked at girls as sources of dowry (bride price) and so they were married off at an age of 14 -18 years.
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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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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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The pain and the glory. The pain and the glory.
The days after the Ascension are a time of waiting and expectation, a time like the earliest disciples in Jerusalem in which to reflect on the meaning both of Jesus’ life and its significance for ourselves: indeed a season of both pain and glory. That is certainly the experience these days of our brothers and sisters in those lands where Christianity first began.
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Intercultural community garden “Rainbow Land” Intercultural community garden “Rainbow Land”
In Landskron, where I am a pastor of the Lutheran Church in Austria, we have a dynamic, growing and socially engaged congregation. Our town hosts hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers from various countries. While their papers are being processed, they are not allowed to work. In our interactions with the refugees and asylum seekers, they have expressed their frustration at not being able to use their time fruitfully. Most of them miss working, and the contact with the land.
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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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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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More voices contributing a wider range of experiences More voices contributing a wider range of experiences
At the annual conference in Uniting Church in Sweden at the beginning of May, we decided to change the procedures in the annual conferences to consensus methods, inspired by the Uniting Church in Australia and the World Council of Churches. Developing democracy is a proud legacy from our founding churches. As early as in the late 19th century, the founding churches used the principle one member, one vote. We hope that this decision is a way to live up to the legacy and to show that we still and always try to develop democracy.
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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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