“We pray for Africa, especially for Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where violence and suffering are a tragic reality,” was the prayer from Nairobi at an International Day of Prayer for Peace event sponsored by the All-Africa Conference of Churches.
In Jos, Nigeria, prayers for peace included Muslims and Christians praying together in the wake of community and church burnings, looting and killings.
A Kenyan theologian and ecologist is warning that foreign companies using land in Africa to grow food and bio-fuel crops are undermining food security for millions of poor people on the continent.
Jesse Mugambi, a professor of philosophy and religious studies from the University of Nairobi, cautioned that communities are losing food sovereignty, land ownership and biodiversity in deals where products end up in companies' home markets.
Violent conflict leaves wounds not only on the victim's body but also in the soul of the community. The healing of these invisible wounds was the subject of a 5-11 September regional consultation and training session for Southern African church representatives.
The event was the first step in the promotion and development of an African network on "Healing of memories". This network will help its member churches to contribute more effectively to the healing and reconciliation of individuals, communities and nations.
This year’s International Day of Prayer for Peace, 21 September, features African churches working to build peace within and between diverse communities. The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites Christians and churches to observe the day with prayers and liturgies and to give special attention to peace projects in Africa.
African church leaders and the WCC general secretary will observe the day with prayer and worship in Nairobi.
What does it mean for the church to call for peace in a world where many forms of racism persist? This is one of the questions a World Council of Churches (WCC) conference on racism tried to answer.
At the conference hosted by the United Church of Christ (UCC) 30 participants from 15 countries gathered 26-29 August in Cleveland to discuss rationale and strategies for a sustained ecumenical engagement in confronting racism and related forms of prejudice.
In a message honouring the Day for Creation, 1 September, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has expressed his hope that the financial and economic crisis experienced by many societies would bring about "a powerful change in direction, to a path of viable and sustainable environmental development."
Churches from a broad range of countries and traditions will participate with prayers and other activities in the Time for Creation over the next 40 days.
The wholeness of creation and the commitment for justice are two biblical insights that have guided ecumenical concern on climate change, say the editors of the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, published under the title, "Churches Caring for Creation and Climate Justice".
"These two concepts come together in the concept of 'climate justice', which is part of the larger concept of eco-justice," guest editors Dr Guillermo Kerber and the Rev. Dr Martin Robra write in their introduction to this issue of The Ecumenical Review.
Written by Stephen Brown
The experience of African women theologians has been a crucial element in helping faith communities respond to the challenge of HIV and AIDS in Africa, says the coordinator of an ecumenical network on the pandemic on the continent.
Faith leaders can play a key role in the fight against the HIV pandemic if their public statements help combat stigma and discrimination, a meeting of faith groups in Vienna in advance of the 18th International AIDS Conference has heard.
"Religious leaders have the trust and confidence of their communities and can help break these barriers and create a more supportive environment," the Netherlands AIDS ambassador Marijke Wijnroks told a 17 July multi-faith conference in the Austrian capital.
A multi-faith meeting on the eve of the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna has heard calls for faith communities to keep commitments they have made to promote universal access to HIV treatment, care, support and prevention.
“This has to do with a basic issue of justice, not at least gender justice,” the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said in an address to the 17 July multi-faith conference at Vienna’s Technical University.