WCC Pilgrimage Blog

Join the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace!

Share the prayer: grassroots ecumenism means praying together

Christians in Argentina, Brazil, Australia and many other places in the southern hemisphere have been engaged in responding to the joint call by the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church to pray for Christian unity this week. Lately I have been witnessing, mainly through social media, how groups from this part of the world are gathering to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU). But I also see how production and use of these liturgical resources and prayers bring to light the importance of these most basic elements in our common search for Christian unity.

Reviewing the “travel security warning” for the world

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel widely (and freely). I’ve explored and experienced many different corners of the world and moved relatively freely between countries with my magic passport. But always before travelling I am advised to check the countries “security warning” to make sure that it is safe to travel there. If it is considered a level-four country, I cannot travel to it. This got me thinking, what are the factors distinguishing the levels? War, violence, terrorist threats, political tension? And how can these levels change? Justice and Peace.

Journey toward justice and peace

As a youth leader, I have been involved in this pilgrimage since 2011 when I was nominated to attend the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches. I wanted to know many things about the WCC but most importantly I wanted to know about the call to justice and peace. I searched for any information that could explain the real meaning of these two words especially in regard to Christian unity. After attending the assembly at Busan, I realized that it was not just a meeting but it was a calling to a journey.

Walking to Emmaus

After a long walk in the streets of Bethlehem, we finally had the chance to wander around in the market for a couple of hours. Each Palestinian had to be a leader for some of the youth that were in the group, so a South African, two Germans, and a Swede formed my group. While hanging around on the roads, we passed by some tourist buses. One of the youths who were with me said: “Wow, there are a lot of tourists in Bethlehem. I’m glad I’m not a tourist but a pilgrim!”

Walking to Emmaus

At our first meeting in South Africa, a few months before going to Sweden for the first part of the international youth pilgrimage “Walking to Emmaus”, we were exited to meet each other and to know that we would all be going on a plane. It was a first for all of us so I’m sure you would imagine the excitement you could see on our faces going down the terminal and into the aeroplane.

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.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance in the context of one's own learning, beliefs, or faith. It can be a physical journey to a particular place, or a metaphysical journey in search of insight. It can be a revisiting of spiritual roots or a first visit to the faith domain of a friend.

The right to hope

"This is the year to act. We, the people of the world, need you, the world’s religious leaders, to motivate your communities, to advocate and persuade others to take the necessary, if difficult, decisions." This was the message from Ban Ki-moon and many high-level scientists yesterday, as we met in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome to discuss sustainable development and climate change.

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