WCC Pilgrimage Blog

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What sights and sounds tell Hiroshima’s A-bomb story today?

Hiroshima, 6 August 2015 - What sights and sounds told this city’s story today? A graveside scream at dawn? The penetrating gong that sounded to mark the moment the atomic bomb exploded 70 years ago? Candle lanterns floating toward the sea on the evening tide? Or a young pastor’s confession, “I feel guilty”, because his family was spared 70 years ago by a last-minute twist of fate?

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On the road for decent and sustainable work

According to the Bank of Italy, since 2008, 1,1 million work places have been cancelled. The unemployment rate has crossed the mark of twelve per cent (3,2 million people) and continues to rise. Among the young people, 43,3% are unemployed. Of course this situation affects also us, the members of the Protestant Churches in Italy. Nonetheless until now, there had been no grassroots debate on decent and sustainable work. In order to change this, a pilgrimage or caravan set out from Sicily in February 2015 and is passing through the Country toward the North within this year.

A Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Korea: Exodus from division and nuclear threats

The summer in Korea is a lush and attractive season for vacationers. Yet it is far more than that. It is a period haunted by heavy historical memories. June 25 marks the day of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950; July 27, the day of the conclusion of armistice in 1953; and August 15, the day of liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945, which immediately led to the division between North and South by the Soviet Union and the United States.

Cambodia War Museum - an encounter with a violent past and a resilient present

The YATRA training (Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity), organized each year by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in cooperation with the Cambodia-based Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS), is an opportunity for young Christians from different countries of Asia to learn about other religions of their contexts and become involved in the “pilgrimage of justice and peace” which the WCC Assembly had called for in 2013. This year, there were 25 young people gathered in Siam Reap, Cambodia, for two weeks of living and learning together.

A Pilgrimage from Thursday to Thursday

When first introduced to Thursdays in Black, it seemed like an “easy” thing to do. What could be simpler – wear black clothes on Thursdays and wear my pin to show that I dream of a world without rape and violence. Every ‘good’ Christian could support this and I casually suggested to my colleagues that this was something CABSA could support. But what does a seemingly simple campaign to create awareness about sexual and gender-based violence have to do with the “Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace”?

Between politics, climate change and the role of the Church of Norway

During our travels accompanying the northern Norway part of the ecumenical Climate Pilgrimage 2015 project, the two local bishops of the Church of Norway (Bishop Olav Øygard of the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland and me as bishop of the Diocese of South-Hålogaland) were invited to discuss climate change with people from the petroleum industry and local politicians.

A centuries-old desire for peace in Europe

After century upon century of periodic warfare, the continent of Europe has, for the last 60 years or so, enjoyed a period of unprecedented peace. The most one can say for European peace is that since second world war no western European power has gone to war against another western European power. But are we on the real and deeply true way to reach, keep and develop justice and peace?

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.

Becoming pilgrims: walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Egypt

Egypt, that ancient and mysterious land where the pyramids of Giza grace the hot desert landscape and the Pharaohs once reigned. A land overflowing with beauty and a historical richness unparalleled in all the globe. Today, it is a place whose regal image has been tarnished by the devastating consequences of revolution, economic decline, and fanatical religious zeal.

Playful pilgrims, changing the face of the Earth

Today is a travel day for me, journeying from Stuttgart, where many thousands of Protestants from all over Germany along with many fellow believers from other confessions and countries had gathered for a four-day festival of faith and action, to the venue of the European Christian Internet Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Being offline for a few hours of travel time is an opportunity to think about my work and how it contributes to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

Churches in the DRC embark on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been experiencing great distress because of the armed conflicts over more than ten years, and its economic fabric has noticeably deteriorated as a result. As part of its main mission, which is fulfilling the work of humankind’s salvation by Jesus Christ, who came that the sheep might have life and have it abundantly, the church in the DRC has during this time been active in promoting the people’s well-being.