WCC Pilgrimage Blog

Join the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace!

Peace on the Korean Peninsula – NOW!

“We pray – Peace now – End the War!” This is the motto for the “Light of Peace” Prayer Campaign for the Korean Peninsula. “Peace now!” Now we are caught in the global coronavirus pandemic. The airtime in TV and radio is occupied by news related to the spread of the virus with many bad consequences for health and wealth of humankind. In this crisis we tend to forget other urgent needs. One of them is the call for peace for the Korean Peninsula.

Tax justice in a time of COVID-19 crisis

When the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, was recently admitted to hospital with COVID-19, spending a few days in intensive care, a number of British politicians and journalists talked about how the virus was the great leveller. Everyone from street cleaners to world leaders could get the disease; no-one was immune, therefore, we must all follow the same social distancing guidelines. But as Iñigo Aymar of Oxfam has pointed out, COVID-19 is not so much the great leveller, but the great revealer.

In times of global crisis, time to formulate the narrative of the way out

In just a couple of weeks an invisible virus got the world economy on its knees and made 2020 the year of postponement. Not only concerts and conferences, sports and theaters have been suspended or postponed. Even pivotal UN meetings have been postponed and among them the UNFCCC COP 26 in Glasgow. A meeting that should have at its best ramped up the ambitions to cut the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases. Incredible amounts of money have been thrown in by different governments of the world to keep the economy from a total collapse. And no one seems to be against it.

Learning to live with the COVID-19 pandemic

Countries affected by COVID-19 are gradually lifting confinement restrictions that were introduced to contain and mitigate the spread of the pandemic. We are slowly, but surely, limping back to normalcy. Although it is too early to declare a victory against COVID-19, the spread of the virus is abating in many countries. But if we drop our guard, it is likely that the virus will regain a foothold in the weeks to come. Vigilance and patience will be needed in these pressing times.

God, faith and church life under question in a time of a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the political, economic and social life of a troubled world, already suffering by the financial crisis and imposed neoliberal austerity measures. With this current crisis, a strange unity has risen; a unity in fear of illness and death, anxious uncertainty for the future and collective mourning for the tens of thousands of deaths.

We are under care, not at war

Ever since the dominant narrative in Italy and in the world about the pandemic has assumed a war terminology — that is, immediately after the health situation in any given country changes drastically for the worse — I have been looking for a different metaphor to describe adequately what we are living and suffering and at the same time to offer elements of hope and of sense for the days ahead.

Staying spiritually connected through song

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in physical distancing, it has not made us any less of a global community. On the contrary, these troubling times have revealed just how connected we truly are. We have all been forced to find creative ways of staying connected whether it is from the smallest unit of a nuclear family to large transnational companies.

Easter Reflections: “I have come that they may have life and life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land: It is Easter 2020. This is the commemoration of both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the source of our liberation but also of our praise and joy, especially in this time of the coronavirus crisis. 'I think it is the same for us now. It is enough that we are reflecting and praying, it is enough that we are listening to the voice of God, and the God of love will always be with us in our homes, in our churches, and our workplaces. The Risen Christ will bring us peace in our homes, and grants us hope in a hopeless situation, bringing us life and life abundantly.'

Who is my neighbor? Love at a time of physical distance?

May God's comfort and love be with you who are holding up every day in the midst of the coronavirus. We lost our normal lives very quickly and we are experiencing limitations of human being in the face of such a sudden disaster. The number of confirmed cases and deaths that flow out of the news every day seems unrealistic, and this painful reality puts us in deep frustration.

COVID-19 reveals and deepens inequalities; where is the Economy of Life?

Television, FaceBook and WhatsApp chats bring news from Manila, much of it disheartening. In the early stages of the pandemic with nearly 1,500 cases as of this writing, the Philippines has already lost 12 frontliners to COVID-19 (comprising one-fifth of total fatalities), one of them a young Methodist doctor. This is disastrous for a country that has only 1.3 doctors per 1,000 people (in part due to the exodus of medical professionals to “greener pastures” abroad).

Reflections on our deeper crisis

An article on an interesting subject? No, not this time. I can only write from the deep crisis situation we are in at present. There is nothing else that keeps me more busy than the question of how to live with the anxiety and fear of the coronavirus and what to make of it.

When forced to stay in a place of danger

While reading Psalm 46, I noticed a very interesting introduction to the poem. It read, ‘To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.’ (NRSV) My curiosity peaked. An alamoth could be a soprano instrument or a direct reference to young female singers, (that is – virgins). Intrigued, I read a few commentaries and the preceding psalm, which also references alamoth, albeit in the context of a wedding feast. I wondered whether the two poems, ascribed to the same family of writers and maintaining that peculiar introit, could once have been one psalm.

Do not let your hearts be troubled

“Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1) said our Lord, but my heart is troubled. I read this morning that the Chaldean Patriarch ordered to close the Churches in Bagdad in order to protect his people from the virus, and my heart got troubled.

A Pen of Love – and standing up for the truth, justice and peace

Just a click away –Seoul, Brisbane, Juba, Karlsruhe, Nairobi, New York and Jerusalem. We live in a time when communication and information are at our fingertips. Whether it is via smartphones, tablets or laptops, different news sources can be accessed in seconds, the world is moving into our hands - just a click away. The rapid increase in news consumption and production, however, comes at a serious cost — media and communication illiteracy. I´m the first defender of the freedom of expression and freedom of media.