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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.
Located in Posts

Boats, borders and Christmas parallels Boats, borders and Christmas parallels
We did not realize that we would get so close. We had imagined maybe seeing boats from afar, having to remind ourselves that what we saw in the water was people. As we stood on the beach in Molivos, there was no question about the reality of the situation as the boats came in. 45 people on boats designed for no more than ten. Most of them wore life vests, but not all. The entire range of emotions was expressed just after reaching land. As some took selfies and thanked God for reaching safely, others cried out in despair after seeing their own death in front of them on the terrifying journey.
Located in Posts

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.
Located in Posts

Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid.
Thoughts wander in the wind. Emotions bubbling up. I don’t know where to start. So much frustration. So much misunderstanding. So much fear.
Located in Posts

Dutch pilgrims plead for peace at the Peace Palace in The Hague Dutch pilgrims plead for peace at the Peace Palace in The Hague
Peace will not come by itself. We have to work for it. That is the reason for hundreds of people to join the Walk of Peace on the 20th of September 2015, which will be held in The Hague. The Hague is a symbol of justice and peace because of the Peace Palace, where the international court of justice does its work.
Located in Posts

European pilgrims, open to God’s transforming spirit European pilgrims, open to God’s transforming spirit
On 5 May each year the Council of Europe marks Europe Day. It is a day to celebrate peace and unity across the continent. It is also a day to honour successes of Europe—widespread peace and free movement at internal borders, increasing prosperity and cooperation, recovery and flourishing following times of crisis. It is also a time to reflect on where we want to go, who we want to be as Europe.
Located in Posts

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.
Located in Posts

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.
Located in Posts

Justice and peace in Nigeria and in Sweden Justice and peace in Nigeria and in Sweden
As a youth leader of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, I am currently on a journey to Switzerland and Sweden to explore the ecumenical landscape on behalf of our church and also to learn firsthand about the work of the Church of Sweden. Journeying together can be a practical way for churches to engage in the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace which invites member churches of the World Council of Churches and all people of goodwill to speak and act together in our continued search for peace in our troubled world.
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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.
Located in Posts