"To launch together a new beginning for common mission in the 21st century" is the challenge put before participants at an international mission conference taking place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, from 2-6 June.
The international gathering commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the 1910 World Mission Conference which took place in the same city and is widely considered the symbolic starting point of the modern ecumenical movement.
Although it is often portrayed as a religious conflict, the crisis in Nigeria's Central Plateau State is of social and economic nature, the country's foreign minister told church representatives. The church delegation advocated for government action to develop the area and to bring to trial those responsible for an outburst of communal violence last March.
For Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Odein, the country faces "a lot of challenges which are largely misunderstood by the international community".
A World Council of Churches (WCC) Living Letters team has appealed to Nigeria's religious leaders to encourage people belonging to different ethnic and faith groups to take initiatives to promote lasting peace and harmony in violence-affected communities.
It was a deeply moving experience for the Living Letters team visiting Nigeria on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) when they gathered to pray around a mass grave at Dogonahawa, near Jos, in the Central Plateau State on Tuesday. About 323 locals murdered last March have been buried at the site.
In early March 501 people, mostly women and children from two adjacent villages, Dogonahawa and Bukuru, were killed in their sleep during an outburst of communal and ethnic violence.
During a meeting with a Living Letters team visiting Nigeria on behalf of the World Council of Churches, the governor of the Plateau state, Jonah David Jang said that “religion is used to cover up all conflicts, although other factors also exist”. While explaining certain reasons for the conflicts, the governor admitted that “I am a committed Christian. As governor of this state, I am elected by the people and God gave me the mandate to direct the people in the righteous way”.
"Our commitment to peace as churches and as Christians is something we have inherited at birth, or, indeed, from the birth of the baby of Bethlehem," said Bishop Dr Martin Schindehütte of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) at a day preparing for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation.
The peace forum was part of the Second Ecumenical Kirchentag (German for church convention) in Munich.
Hope and tenacity are essential for the ecumenical movement stated the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit at the Second Ecumenical Kirchentag which took place in Munich, Germany, from 12-16 May.
How Christians living in a rich society deal with the concern for the poor was one of the subjects discussed by participants at a German church convention (Kirchentag) celebrated in Munich, from 12-16 May.
Churches in Germany and Europe are “integrated into the society, and thus are also part of the international market system”, said Praeses Dr Nikolaus Schneider, chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).
South Africa's "green bishop" says those who have exploited the African continent should repay an "ecological debt."
"We now know that we can have clean energy, and companies that have contributed to the climate change must pay," Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Davies told Ecumenical News International during a 5-6 May meeting in Johannesburg to discuss how churches might influence future United Nations discussions on climate change.
In countries across six continents, a wide diversity of religious communities, people of faith, human rights and peace organizations are preparing to mark the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.